New investment pledges are expected to be lower this year amid the pandemic. — REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is aiming to approve more than P100 billion in investment pledges by the end of the year, led by a potential investor relocating from China.

“We might exceed more than P100 billion this year, with all these positive responses of our present investors and incoming investors,” PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza in a press conference on Monday.

For the first 10 months of 2020, the agency reported P72.6 billion in new investment pledges, falling by more than a quarter from a year earlier.

The PEZA board approved another P14.6 billion worth of new investments during its board meeting earlier this month.

However, even if PEZA reaches P100 billion in new investment pledges, this would still be around 15% lower than P117.54 billion in investments … Read the rest

Something is afoot of late when taking a closer look at major indices such as the S&P 500 — which is within a whisker of a new all-time high just as continued election uncertainty and rising COVID-19 cases worldwide — seemingly should scare Wall Street into safer investments.

The reality is that investors are all looking past these near-term issues, and focusing instead on vaccines, a new U.S. administration and hopefully a return to somewhat normalcy in 2021. At the end, the rule of law, democracy and science will always prevail, and everyone is betting on this to be the case right now.

Speaking of science, in its 114 years of existence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved over 20,000 prescription drugs. It’s also given marketing clearance from more than 1,600 drugs specific to animals. It’s rather amazing to think about nearly 22,000 products to fight diseases and … Read the rest

By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter

THE Philippine central bank would probably remain dovish and might cut benchmark interest rates again next month and in the next quarter as the recovery outlook remains uncertain, analysts said.

“If the pace of economic recovery continues to underperform official forecasts, as we expect in the near term, then policy rate cuts will be warranted,” Nomura Global Markets Research analysts Euben Paracuelles and Rangga Cipta said in a note.

Further cuts would likely come especially as inflation remains benign and stays within the target of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), whose monetary policy decisions continue to rely on data, they added.

“We reiterate our forecast that BSP will cut its policy rate by another 50 basis points (bps) to 1.5%, likely delivering 25 bps at its next monetary board meeting in December and then another 25 bps in the first … Read the rest

Stock markets in Canada’s largest centre ended the week on a hot streak, as gains in tech and resource stocks lit up the index on Friday, despite rising coronavirus cases globally weighing on sentiment.

The TSX rocketed 109.29 points to end Friday at 17,019.10, within sight of its close on New Year’s Eve, and up 343 points, or 2.06%, on the week .

The Canadian dollar demurred 0.01 cents to 76.40 cents U.S.

Techs, as mentioned, shone the brightest light, as Lightspeed POS took flight $4.09, or 7%, to $59.89, while BlackBerry gained 51 cents, or 7.3%, to $7.52.

In resource stocks, First Quantum Minerals climbed 61 cents, or 3.6%, to $17.40, while Hudbay Minerals picked up 22 cents, or 2.9%, to $7.76.

In utilities, Northland Power acquired $1.69, or 4.1%, to $42.78, and Boralex advanced $1.32, or 3.5%, to $39.29.

Industrials faded, as Air Canada lost 66 cents, or … Read the rest

Coca-Cola Philippines has extensively scaled up its e-commerce presence to better respond to consumers whose needs and shopping behavior have altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With transportation and mobility affected, the Company has ensured that it can continue to serve people with its portfolio of beverages just a few clicks away.

Coca-Cola’s e-commerce website was first launched in 2015. To meet the constraints of the pandemic and to adapt to homebound Filipinos’ needs, the Company accelerated its digital and e-commerce roadmap—strengthening existing infrastructure and opening new channels to connect with the market. Thus, demonstrating agility as a total beverage company, with consumers always top of mind.

Coca-Cola products have been accessible online through its e-commerce website — — since 2015. With the constraints of the pandemic, the Company ensures that its products remain available within a click’s reach by strengthening its existing platform and partnering with food
Read the rest



Economic Lookahead

Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (preliminary) (Nov,)

Markit Services PMI (Nov.)

Featured Earnings

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) (Q4) EPS projected of 91 cents, compared to 89 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) (Q2) EPS projected for loss of four cents, compared to a gain of 81 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX) (Q1) EPS projected for loss of 95 cents, compared to a loss of $1.14 in the prior-year quarter.



Economic lookahead

Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (Sept.)

Consumer Confidence Index (Nov.)

Featured Earnings

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) (Q3) EPS projected for 33 cents, compared to 48 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Burlington Stores, Inc. (NYSE: BURL) (Q3) EPS projected for 19 cents, compared to $1.55 in the prior-year quarter.

Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) (Q3) EPS projected for $1.36 compared to $1.47 in the prior-year quarter.

HP Inc. (NYSE: Read the rest

AT least half of the population needs to be vaccinated for the country to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a health official said.

"If we are talking about herd immunity, we need to reach 50% to 60% across the population so it's really important we expand the coverage," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said in an interview with ANC on Friday.

Herd immunity is when most of the population becomes immune from an infectious disease, either through vaccination or a previous infection, thus indirectly protecting those without immunization.

A Social Weather Stations survey released late Thursday indicates 66% of Filipinos are keen to get experimental COVID-19 vaccines.

The mobile phone survey, conducted September 17 to 20, shows that of the 66% Filipinos who are "willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it is available now” consists of 32% who would “definitely” get it and 34% … Read the rest

Stocks fell on Friday as rising new coronavirus cases, coupled with questions around central-bank funding for key emergency programs, cast doubt on a swift economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 133.53 points to begin Friday at 29,349.70.

The S&P 500 dumped 11.3 points to 3,570.57.

The NASDAQ inched up 2.36 points to 11,907.07.

UnitedHealth dipped 1.3% and Boeing fell 1.4%Financials fell 0.9% to lead the S&P 500 lower along with energy.

The U.S. seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections now stands at 165,029, according to an analysis of John Hopkins data, 24% higher than a week ago. On Thursday alone, a record 187,833 cases were reported. Many states have rolled back reopening plans and implemented fresh restrictions to curb the spread.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a “Limited Stay at Home Order” on a majority of the state’s residents, requiring nonessential work and gatherings to cease … Read the rest

The central bank cut policy rates to a record-low 2%, as the economy continued to struggle with the impact of the pandemic and recent typhoons. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) unexpectedly cut benchmark rates to new record lows on Thursday, the fifth reduction this year, citing the continued uncertainty caused by a fresh surge in coronavirus cases globally and the impact of recent typhoons on the struggling economy.

The Monetary Board on Thursday trimmed the rates on the BSP’s overnight reverse repurchase, lending, and deposit facilities by 25 basis points (bps) to 2%, 2.5%, and 1.5%, respectively.

“With a benign inflation environment and stable inflation expectations, the Monetary Board sees enough policy space for a reduction in the policy rate at this juncture to uplift market sentiment and nurture the country’s economic recovery amid increased downside risks Read the rest

The Canadian dollar has been shuffling between $1.3030 and $1.3170 since last Friday, and it traded well within that range overnight. As usual, price action was driven by ebbing and flowing U.S. dollar sentiment, which was mostly positive, thanks to safe-haven demand.

The U.S. recorded over 166,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and the death toll from the virus topped 250,000. New York City announced the closure of public schools and numerous states are enacting restrictions to combat the latest outbreak. Traders are more focused on the current threat from the virus rather than a vaccine which is still months down the road. That shift in focus sparked a wave of “risk-off” trades in Asia and Europe.

The coronavirus is just one concern. The unresolved U.S. presidential election is leaving uncertainty in its wake.

The overnight price action may be a sign of things to come as next week starts the … Read the rest