Shares drop amid COVID-19 concerns and lack of leads


PHILIPPINES stocks fell on Thursday due to a lack of new leads and as 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections increased in some Asian economies.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 107.48 points or 1.57% to close at 6,727.93 on Thursday, while the all-stock index lost 44.46 points or 1.05% to end at 4,183.02.

“The local market was back in the red for lack of positive catalysts,” Lance U. Soledad, junior equity analyst at AB Capital Securities, Inc. said in a Viber message.

“The increase in virus cases in Asia is of concern, especially for the Philippines, as the positivity rate and daily cases of COVID-19 continue to be high,” he added.

The Health Department reported 3,806 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases to 44,408 and the total number of cases in the country to 1,485,457.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported a record 54,517 new infections on a single day on Wednesday. Singapore also recorded its highest number of local COVID-19 cases in the past ten months on Wednesday with 56 new community infections.

“Philippine stocks fell as investors once again focused on the United States as [Federal Reserve] President [Jerome] Powell’s testimony from two days before Congress began, ”Regina Capital Development Corp. Sales Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message.

Mr Powell on Wednesday pledged “strong support” to complete the United States’ economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but has faced heated questions from Republican lawmakers concerned about recent spikes in inflation, said Reuters reported.

In his testimony before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Mr Powell said he was convinced the recent price hikes were associated with the country’s post-pandemic reopening and that they were fade, and that the Fed should remain focused on getting as many people back to work as possible. as possible.

Any move to reduce support for the economy, by first slowing down the US central bank’s $ 120 billion in monthly bond purchases, is “still a long way off,” Powell said, with 7, 5 million jobs still missing before the pandemic.

Back home, the majority of sector indices closed in the red Thursday with the exception of the mining and oil sectors which rose 88.88 points or 0.9% to 9,881.65.

At the same time, the holding companies lost 126.65 points or 1.83% to 6,762.06; services fell 24.08 points or 1.49% to 1,584.75; financials fell 21.22 points or 1.43% to 1,455.09; manufacturers lost 97.75 points or 1.01% to finish at 9,510.37; and real estate lost 32.54 points or 1% to end at 3,202.33.

Turnover in value reached 4.89 billion pesos with 982.45 million issues traded on Thursday against 4.37 billion pesos with 1.02 billion shares registered on Wednesday.

Drops outnumbered advances, 121 to 70, while 57 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign sales rose to P551.11 million on Thursday from P170.11 million on Wednesday.

“For now, we expect the market to trade on a downtrend,” said Mr. Soledad of AB Capital Securities. – KCG Valmonte with Reuters

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