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Rising coronavirus cases cause PSEi to decline

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PHILSTAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

PHILIPPINE SHARES continued to slump on Wednesday on worries over rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 108.95 points or 1.73% to close Wednesday’s session at 6,188.83. The broader all shares index gave up 42.29 points or 1.14% to end at 3,643.43.

“The coronavirus is still seen as the main culprit for today’s decline,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a text message on Wednesday.

He noted that a primary concern was the record daily high 1,150 new COVID-19 cases reported by the local Health department on Tuesday, which pushed the country’s total cases to 31,825. A total of 22,197 cases are active, 8,442 are recoveries and 1,186 are deaths.

“If the pace of the rise in cases is sustained or if it intensifies, then our current restrictions will most likely stay in place with a possibility even of reverting to stricter ones,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

He noted current restrictions, which are already relaxed from the strict lockdown implemented in March, are still hindering the Philippine economy from operating at full capacity and recovering from the steep decline over the past months. Returning to the tight lockdown would “aggravate the damages that our economy is already suffering,” he said.

“In summary, our current coronavirus situation is weighing on the prospects of an economic recovery that investors have been hoping for,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

The weak sentiment is not limited to the Philippines, as other economies have also been recording a “second wave” of COVID-19 cases, resulting in worries among investors everywhere in the world.

Foreign investors at the local bourse were net sellers again on Wednesday, with net outflows jumping to P2.07 billion from P1.15 billion the previous day.

Mr. Tantiangco said this turnout from offshore investors added to the downward pressure in the market.

Most sectoral indices ended Wednesday’s session with losses. Property dropped 113.18 points or 3.6% to 3,027.10; industrials erased 133.39 points or 1.71% to 7,630.06; financials shaved off 13.85 points or 1.09% to 1,257.03; services trimmed 14.47 points or 1.03% to 1,384.16; and holding firms declined 45.29 points or 0.69% to 6,452.11.

The sole index that gained was mining and oil, which rose 139.05 points or 2.7% to 5,273.36 at the close of session.

Value turnover stood at P6.64 billion with 3.8 billion issues switching hands, down from the previous day’s P7.31 billion with 1.31 billion issues.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 121 against 83, while 33 names ended unchanged.





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