By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

LOCAL SHARES tempered their climb in the last week of October as growing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases overseas and jitters over the US elections sent investors to the sidelines.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended Friday’s trading at 6,324, up 74.61 points or 1.19% from the last session. It ended the PSEi’s three-day losing streak amid profit taking after the market’s recent rally.

This brought the PSEi down 160.06 points or 2.5% on a weekly basis. But on a monthly basis, the index has grown 459.77 points or 7.8% against its end-September level.

Value turnover last week surged 41% to an average of P11.97 billion, which online brokerage attributed to the maiden listing of Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.

Net foreign buying also expanded to an average of P392.86 million, up more than 10 times the previous week’s P4.12 million.

“The local market declined…primarily due to COVID-19 worries as cases surged offshore in turn, putting the global economic recovery at risk,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a text message.

Some 3.06 million new COVID-19 cases were reported across the globe over the past week, based on analyzed data from Johns Hopkins University. Topping the world’s total cases are US, India, Brazil, Russia, and France.

Along with the resurgence of the outbreak, foreign governments have brought back national lockdowns to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as France, Germany, and United Kingdom.

Adding to the downward bias of the market were jitters over the US presidential election, which is scheduled on Nov. 3.

“The bourse took a breather a week before the much-awaited US elections, and as locals responded to the extension of (the relaxed lockdown) in Metro Manila for November,” said.

The government extended the lockdown in Metro Manila until the end of November, which will mark more than eight consecutive months that the country’s capital has under quarantine due to the coronavirus. Other key regions will also remain under the same lockdown level.

But cushioning investor sentiment was the slowdown in local COVID-19 cases as the Philippines was removed from the list of 20 countries with the highest number of infections last week.

Some 12,910 new COVID-19 cases were reported between Oct. 24 and 31, resulting in a total tally of 380,729 local cases as of Saturday.

Heading into November, corporate earnings are expected to remain as the main driver of investor sentiment towards trading. is projecting the PSEi’s immediate support within 6,150-6,200 and resistance within 6,500-6,700. Philstocks’ Mr. Tantiangco put the market’s support within 6,000-6,100 and resistance at 6,600.