Nickel stocks surge; PH shares down
Nickel mining firms sizzled at the local stock market on Monday as Indonesia’s plan to fast-track a plan to ban the export of nickel ore boosted global nickel prices to a five-year high.
Nickel producer Nickel Asia Corp.—the most actively traded company yesterday—surged by 50 percent to close at P4.11 a share.
About P761 million worth of Nickel Asia shares changed hands at the local market.
Global Ferronickel also rallied by 14.29 percent to close at P1.68 a share on Monday in relatively heavy trade.
Other nickel mining firms like Marcventures Holdings and Ni Hao Mineral Resources also gained 20.91 percent and 14.85 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, the overall market was sluggish.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 61.13 points or 0.77 percent to close at 7,918.53.
Among the sub-indices, the mining/oil counter outperformed with an 11.51-percent jump.
This was due to the euphoria from surging nickel prices.
“Nickel prices will go up further because of the supply problem,” said Joseph Roxas, president of local stock brokerage Eagle Equities Inc.
It was earlier reported that the world’s biggest nickel exporter, Indonesia, will start banning nickel ore exports by January next year instead of the earlier timeline of 2022.
The ban is meant to encourage nickel mining firms to set up processing plants instead of just exporting the ore.
Apart from Indonesia’s call for ban on ore exports, a report about a waste spill at a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea also triggered fears of nickel supply constraints.
While other base metals are on a decline, London nickel has risen by over 70 percent this year.
Meanwhile, all other counters slipped in the stock market, which encountered a key barrier as the main index neared the 8,000 mark.
The most battered was the financial counter, which shed 1.62 percent.
The industrial, holding firm, services and property counters also slipped.
Value turnover amounted to P5.27 billion.
Despite the PSEi’s decline, there were 110 advancers that outnumbered 94 decliners, while 43 stocks were unchanged.
BDO fell by 2.68 percent while AEV, URC and BPI all declined by over 1 percent.
Shares of SM Prime, Ayala Corp., Metrobank, SM Investments, Megaworld, Jollibee and Meralco all slipped.
On the other hand, AGI and First Gen rose by over 1 percent.
Ayala Land, Metro Pacific and GT Capital also gained slightly.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.