PHL shares decline as investors await Trump news

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LOCAL SHARES declined on Monday as the lack of a local catalyst pushed investors to react to news of US President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 60.45 points or 1% to close at 5,938.95. The broader all shares index trimmed 27.45 points or 0.76% to end at 3,558.82.

“There are no strong catalysts that could help the market to rally so the market is mostly trading in a sideways movement, ranging from 5,700 to 6,100,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message.

The PSEi opened at 6,005.58 yesterday and reached a high of 6,010.76 before closing at its intraday low of 5,938.95.

“[I]t was the continued net foreign selling for 14 consecutive days which dragged the market below 6,000. Offshore, investors continue to watch the health condition of President Trump after he has tested positive for the coronavirus,” Ms. Alviar added.


After Mr. Trump announced last week that he has been infected by the virus, several top officials were likewise reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The PSEi closed lower with investors speculating on the health of the POTUS (President of the United States), and weaker jobs data raised concerns on the fiscal stimulus needed to restart economy,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The US reported a 7.9% drop in unemployment rate in September, but the recovery is slower than anticipated, which signals the need for further stimulus.

Stocks rose on Monday as signs that Mr. Trump’s health was improving eased some of the political uncertainty caused by his coronavirus infection, which sent investors rushing for safety last week, Reuters reported.

Mr. Trump, 74, was flown to hospital for treatment for the coronavirus on Friday, but his doctors say he has responded well and could return to the White House on Monday.

That helped US S&P 500 e-mini futures rise 0.62%, while Nasdaq futures gained 0.89%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.08%.

Back home, sectoral indices at the PSE all ended in red territory on Monday. Property dropped 43.34 points or 1.54% to 2,756.72; services slid 15.37 points or 1.03% to 1,463.82; holding firms declined 43.12 points or 0.69% to 6,156.70; financials cut 5.90 points or 0.50% to 1,166.52; industrials lost 23.61 points or 0.29% to 7,949.93; and mining and oil slipped 5.31 points or 0.09% to 5,863.23.

Value turnover stood at P6.46 billion with 2.73 billion issues switching hands, higher than the last session’s P4.91-billion worth of 1.47 billion issues.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 130 against 76. Some 42 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling ballooned to P1.09 billion on Monday from just P268.64 million last Friday. — D.A. Valdez with Reuters