STATE AGENCIES will have to significantly ramp up spending in December to boost fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), after the government continued to underspend amid the coronavirus pandemic.   

“The agencies were asked to implement catch-up plans to meet their original spending plans for the year. The catch up [spending plan] is intended to shore up the economy this Q4,” Budget Undersecretary Laura B. Pascua said via Viber on Friday.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told various departments to ramp up spending in the remaining weeks of 2020, during a meeting of the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) two weeks ago.

Representatives from the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Transportation (DoTr), Education (DepEd), Tourism (DoT), Trade and Industry (DTI), and Agriculture (DA) attended the EDC meeting, said Ms. Pascua.

Anemic government spending was blamed for the 11.5% GDP contraction in the third quarter, which was worse than most analysts … Read the rest

Equities in Canada’s largest centre managed gains late Friday, the second last day of a momentum November, as growth in health-care and tech stocks carried the day.

The TSX pulled out of the hole it was in early Friday and gained 45.22 points to end the session at 17,396.56. The gain for the week was 377 points, or 2.22%.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.18 cents to 76.98 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks led the field, with Aurora Cannabis showing gains of $2.18, or 18.7%, to $13.83, while Trillium Pharmaceuticals scaled $2.13, or 8.8%, to $26.31.

Among techs, Lightspeed POS surged $3.39, or 5%, to $71.89, while BlackBerry picked up 25 cents, or 3.2%, to $7.98.

In the consumer staples field, Saputo rallied 68 cents, or 1.9%, to $36.05, while Jamieson Wellness tallied 64 cents, or 1.8%, to $35.61.

Real-estate proved the biggest anchor, with Brookfield Property Partners units dropping 73 cents, … Read the rest

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino got a fresh mandate as head of the sports body after being reelected on Friday in elections held at the East Ocean Palace Restaurant in Paranaque City.

Looked to serve a full four-year term after assuming office only last year in special elections, Mr. Tolentino, head of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (PhilCycling), got his wish after beating lone challenger Jesus “Clint” Aranas of the archery federation, 30-22.

A total of 53 eligible voters got to cast their votes, broken down to representatives from 50 national sports associations, two representatives from the Athletes Commission (Hidilyn Diaz and Jhessie Lacuna), and International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.

The proceedings were done under strict compliance with health and safety protocols to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

Also winning were handball’s Steve Hontiveros, … Read the rest



Economic Lookahead

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (Nov.)

Pending Home Sales Index (Oct.)

Featured Earnings

Adient (NYSE: ADNT) (Q4) EPS projected for 96 cents, compared to 63 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) (Q3) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to one cent in the prior-year quarter.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR) (Q4) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to 29 cents in the prior-year quarter.


Economic Lookahead

Industrial Product Price Index (Oct.) The index edged down 0.1% in September, led by lower prices for energy and petroleum products.

Raw Materials Price Index (Oct.) The index fell 2.2%, pulled downward mainly by lower prices for crude energy products.

Building Permits (Sept.) The total value of building permits rose 1.7% to $8.1 billion in August, driven by an increase in the residential sector in Ontario and Quebec.

Featured Earnings

1933 Industries Inc. (C.TGIF) (Q4) Read the rest

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo

The TNT Tropang Giga booked a spot in the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup following their 91-81 victory over the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in their semifinal rubber match on Friday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.

The steadier team throughout the match, TNT frustrated Phoenix on its way to barging into the championship of the Philippine Basketball Association All-Filipino Cup, where it was last in seven years ago.

Ray Parks Jr. led the way for the Tropang Giga in the win, churning out all-around numbers of 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

The contest got off to a competitive start, with the teams knotted at 10-all midway into the opening quarter, before TNT sprinted to build a 25-20 lead at the end of the first 12 minutes.

In the second quarter, offense tapered off a bit as defense … Read the rest

Stocks in the U.S. rose on Friday as traders wrapped up a strong week amid decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.

The Dow Jones Industrials regained 52.47 points to proceed during a shortened session at 29,924.84.

The S&P 500 recovered 11.26 points to 3,640.91,

The NASDAQ raced 121.65 points, or 1%, to 12,216.06.

U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Friday’s session will close at 1 p.m. EST.

The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ were all up at least 2% for the week entering Friday’s session. Earlier in the week, the Dow jumped to an all-time high, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also notched a record closing high this week, and the Russell 2000 rallied to an all-time high.

Retailers led the early gains as investors bet on a strong holiday shopping season. Amazon shares advanced 0.8%. Shopify advanced 0.8%, and … Read the rest

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) has condemned the party that took place in Boracay on Oct. 31, saying such irresponsible action compromises efforts to revive the tourism industry. The DoT, which serves as co-vice chair of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force for rehabilitation, said in a statement that it also “supports the recommendation of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group to Malay Mayor Frolibar S. Bautista to close down the erring establishment in view of its lacking of business permit and necessary clearances as determined by the authorities.” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat also asserted that while the “halloween party” involved an establishment that does not require a DOT-accreditation, all stakeholders must observe guidelines as the industry aims to strike a balance between ensuring health safety and resuming economic activities. “The jobs and livelihoods that were recently restored in these sites will be affected once again if an outbreak occurs in Read the rest

Equities in Toronto moved progressively higher approaching noon Thursday, hovering around nine-month highs as declines in energy stocks were offset by gains in major technology and mining players, while a U.S. market holiday kept trading volumes low.

The TSX surged 40.43 points to pause for noon at 17,353.50.

The Canadian dollar eased 0.07 cents to 76.89 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was BRP Inc., which jumped $3.26, or 4.6%, to $73.50 after a series of price-target hikes on strong third-quarter results.

Equitable Group fell 56 cents to $98.07, while the second biggest decliner was Inter Pipeline, down 25 cents, or 1.8%, to $13.31.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Suncor Energy, which lost 13 cents to $22.70, Score Media and Gaming, which hurtled nine cents, or 11.4%, to 88 cents, and Nevada Copper, unchanged by noon EST to 11 cents.

In economic circles, Statistics … Read the rest

Tax collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs remained sluggish in October, amid the economic slowdown. COMPANY HANDOUT

THE government’s budget deficit swelled in October, bringing the 10-month gap to nearly P1 trillion as state revenues remained weak and spending continued to decline even as economic managers pledged to ramp up spending to stimulate the economy.

Latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed the budget gap rose by 24.56% to P61.4 billion in October. This brought the year-to-date shortfall to a record-high of P940.6 billion, up 170% from the P348-billion deficit seen in the same period last year.

In 2019, the budget deficit reached P660.2 billion. Economic managers estimated that the budget gap will hit P1.815 trillion this year or equivalent to 9.6% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Broken down, overall spending went down for the second straight month last month by 6.84% … Read the rest

The Canadian dollar is on a tear, relatively speaking. USD/CAD extended losses yesterday, breeching support at $1.3000, and touching $1.2990, before rebounding to $1.3027 overnight. However, the Canadian dollar gains since November 2 pale in the face of the gains achieved by its commodity bloc cousins, AUD/USD which rose 4.37%, and NZD/USD, up 5.29%.

The Canadian dollar is getting some support from WTI oil prices which have risen over 34% since November 2. Oil prices have gained because of speculation that when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia meet at the end of the month, they will agree to delay the schedule reduction of existing production cuts until the middle of 2021. Also, news of successful COVID-19 vaccine tests raised expectations for a surge in oil demand in the coming months.

Global equity indexes continue to climb. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 for the … Read the rest