PHILIPPINE SHARES declined on Thursday after several cities in Metro Manila imposed curfews anew in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 89.14 points or 1.3% to close at 6,719.18 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index went down by 27.92 points or 0.68% to end at 4,050.43.

“Local shares were sold off as the number of COVID-19 cases have forced local government units to reimpose curfews to safeguard against further spread [of the virus],” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“In Metro Manila in particular, the PNP intensified police deployment in the key cities with a surge in cases such as Malabon, Navotas, and Pasay,” Mr. Limlingan said.

“Selling pressure picked up after curfews were imposed… Investors were reminded of the potential negative economic impact of these tighter restrictions,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John J. Mangun said via e-mail.

Cities in Metro Manila, namely San Juan, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, and Parañaque, have imposed curfews again to restrict movement due to the renewed surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Metro Manila mayors are also reviewing the possibility of implementing uniform curfew hours.

COVID-19 infections in the Philippines have breached the 600,000 mark, with over 2,000 new cases reported daily over the past days.

Meanwhile, Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan also noted the increase in US stocks overnight on positive core inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 464.28 points or 1.46% to 32,297.02; the S&P 500 gained 23.37 points or 0.60% to 3,898.81; and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.99 points or 0.04% to 13,068.83.

Back home, majority of sectoral indices closed in the red on Thursday, except for mining and oil, which rose by 302.39 points or 3.55% to 8,818.08; and property, which increased by 2.56 points or 0.07% to 3,377.20.

Meanwhile, holding firms declined by 161.41 points or 2.27% to 6,920.95; industrials slumped by 108.16 or 1.24% to 8,567.83; services went down by 13.74 points or 0.93% to 1,458.24; and financials lost 8.02 points or 0.56% to end at 1,414.67.

Value turnover declined to P8.58 billion on Thursday with 5.05 billion shares switching hands, from the P11.07 billion with 9.14 billion issues on Wednesday.

Advancers bested decliners, 120 versus 112, while 39 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went up to P808.82 million on Thursday from the P78.87 million logged the previous day.

AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said the index may continue to decline as uncertainties continue to cloud investor sentiment.

“The blue chip index may continue lower as the general sentiment deteriorates,” Mr. Mangun said. — K.C.G. Valmonte