PHL stocks extend decline as investors await October lockdown rules

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO J. ARNAIZ

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter 

The main index continued to its fourth straight day of decline on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of new quarantine rules in Metro Manila and key regions.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slid 7.14 points or 0.12% to close at 5,838.66 on the last day of the trading week. The broader all shares index dipped 1.32 point or 0.04% to end at 3,520.63.

“The local bourse ended on red territory as investors conducted some last minute profit-taking activity ahead of the government’s decision on whether or not Metro Manila shall still be placed under the current lockdown measures in place,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren T. Pangan said in a text message.

For the month of September, Metro Manila remained under a general community quarantine, the second least restrictive in the government’s four-tier quarantine levels aimed at curbing the rise of coronavirus infections. 

The government is set to make an announcement before Sept. 30.

Investors are closely watching what the next move of the government will be, as local coronavirus cases continue to rise daily. 

The Health Department reported 2,630 new cases on Friday, lifting the total case tally to 299,361, the highest in Southeast Asia.

Foreign investors remained net sellers for the 11th straight day, which Mr. Pangan said is “due to a lack of significant fresh catalysts in the local scene.” Net foreign outflows stood at P627.97 million on Friday, up from the previous day’s P292.84 million.

Weak sentiment due to overseas developments affected the local market too, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message. Among these are the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in Europe and the expectation of bigger fiscal stimulus among regional markets.

The Euro Stoxx 50 and DAX indices trimmed 0.26% and 0.22%, respectively, on Thursday. The FTSE 100 index grew 0.23%.

Back home, sectoral indices were mixed on Friday. Mining and oil rose 60.08 points or 1.03% to 5,874.06; property improved 19.27 points or 0.71% to 2,725.90; and financials climbed 0.55 point or 0.05% to 1,139.08.

Among the losers were services, which cut 7.50 points or 0.52% to 1,449.19; holding firms, which shed 18.36 points or 0.30% to 6,035.96; and industrial, which lost 21.22 points or 0.27% to 7,872.50.

Some 1.41 billion issues valued at P3.66 billion switched hands on Friday, against Thursday’s 1.07 billion issues worth P4.05 billion.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 110 against 86. Some 44 names ended unchanged.