Market reaction to Trump-Kim summit


At the resumption of trading last June 13, Play Hard and Pixiu had several selling orders which I’m not sure if they were also a local investors’ reflection of how the western press received the outcome of the most-awaited meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un in Singapore.

The summit was held on June 12 which also coincided with the celebration of our 120th Independence Day.

Not just critical and skeptical, the western press together with other vocal critics belittled the outcome of the summit. The following news titles said them all: “Trump gave Kim a summit but left with little to show for it” and “Donald Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was unquestionably a success — for Kim.”

Trump, on the other hand, declared the summit “a fantastic meeting, a good starting point” and that he “gave up nothing” for what he claimed were North Korean concessions namely “a halt to missile and nuclear tests, the earlier release of three U.S. hostages and a promise to return the remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War.”

But the document signed, critics further claimed, was glaringly “unsubstantial.” It was “much, much less than a binding deal,” too, especially on denuclearization.

There was no mention of a specific timetable for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. It did not include a commitment to a verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, much less a mutual definition of denuclearization.

The agreement, moreover, did not include steps needed to end the technical state of warfare between the US and North Korea.

Also, the biggest winner aside from Kim himself was China, critics added.

Market’s viewpoint

In the local scene, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell the following day after the big event. The Philippine peso also moved to a new fresh 12-year low against the dollar.

In particular, the PSEi dropped 168.32 points or 2.17 percent in its close at 7,602.98 and the broader all-shares index also fell 75.19 points or 1.60 percent in its close at 4,629.35, too. All counters were all down too.

Asian neighbors were largely mix while the US market and Europe were largely on the downside.

However, the commentaries about the overall weakness of the markets around the world seemingly didn’t show that they have been affected by the disappointment of the western press and Trump’s critics about the political outcome of the summit in Singapore.

If ever, its impact may be several months from now. More credibly, too, if the announced agreements do not materialize even as Trump is now enthusiastically hopeful they would, the issues that stand between the US and North Korea may just silently stand in the background behind other more vitriolic geopolitical concerns in the past.

If they would happen even slowly but palpably, on the other hand, the markets may have added reason to hasten the pace of their advance.

Like how some Korea watchers think about the summit, “it is better for the US and North Korea to be talking than threatening each other, even without a host of specific commitments from Kim.” The diplomatic encounter could possibly become the prelude to many more dialogues that could produce understanding and lasting peace in the Korean peninsula.

The issues that pulled down the markets after the summit, therefore, were more financial than political in nature. On top was the US Federal Reserve’s scheduled meeting last Wednesday, confounded by “the prospect of a hawkish” decision by the European Central Bank the next day. Incidentally, the decision for another US rate increase should already be known by now.

The slip of the peso against the dollar further contributed to the local market’s fall last Wednesday. The peso dropped by P0.28 centavos to P53.23 against the US dollar.

Consensus say the peso will likely depreciate further to P54 or P55 to $1 by the end of 2018 on the back of accelerating inflation and widening trade gap.

Bottom line

The progress of the trading performances of the players in the visual stock trading challenge is under audit to check the accuracy of the trading records of all the participants especially with the most active players in the game. This is why we have no tabulations published today.

We will have the audited and final overall figures up to Week 15 not later than Friday next week. Needless to say, all of the participants may continue submitting their trading orders as usual.

(Den Somera is a licensed stockbroker. The article has been prepared for general circulation for the reading public and must not be construed as an offer, or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or financial instruments whether referred to herein or otherwise. Moreover, the public should be aware that the writer or any investing parties mentioned in the column may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of their reported or mentioned investment activity. E-mail address of the writer is

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