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Stocks extend losing streak on coronavirus fears

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PHILSTAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES continued to slip on Wednesday as the novel coronavirus continue to kill and infect more people across the globe.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dipped 6.39 points or 0.08% to close at 7,462.31 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index fell 10.61 points or 0.23% to end at 4,425.06.

“The market was down around 40 points during the afternoon session but last minute buying lifted the bourse, tempering the index’s losses to only 6.39 points. Despite the bounce in some markets from Europe and the US last night, our local bourse still ended in red territory as investors remain cautious of the coronavirus outbreak,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren T. Pangan said in a text message on Wednesday.

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus continued to rise yesterday: at least 132 people killed in China and about 6,056 people infected across the globe, CNN reported yesterday. A total of eighteen regions have reported confirmed cases so far: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, United States and Vietnam.

In the Philippines, the Health department is still investigating more than 20 cases for possible infection to the novel coronavirus. Results are expected to be out within the week.




Despite this, the PSEi failed to join US and European markets in recovering. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices rose 0.66%, 1.01% and 1.43% respectively on Tuesday.

At the PSE, four of six sectoral indices ended in red territory yesterday. Mining and oil slumped 218.52 points or 2.79% to 7,594.26; industrials lost 58.10 points or 0.61% to 9,356.57; financials slipped 5.47 points or 0.30% to 1,797.65; and holding firms shed 20.03 points or 0.27% to 7,160.49.

Meanwhile, property added 20.19 points or 0.51% to 3,926.35 and services inched up three points or 0.19% to 1,518.86.

Value turnover stood at P4.96 billion with 496 million issues switching hands, slightly up from Tuesday’s P4.44 billion worth of 579.05 million issues.

Stocks that declined outnumbered those that advanced, 118 against 69, while 42 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling dropped to P350.99 million from P544.47 million on Tuesday.

“7,400 levels seem to be holding so far, but if it breaks, 7,320 levels may be the next immediate support to watch,” Mr. Pangan said.

“We may have to observe how Chinese markets’ reopening on Monday may affect foreign activity, and how the outbreak progresses as the days go by. Another upcoming catalyst may be the US’ GDP (gross domestic product) announcement,” Mr. Pangan added, referring to when local shares may recover.









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