COURTESY OF PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, INC.

STOCKS fell on Friday as the national government kept the National Capital Region (NCR) at Alert Level 3 amid expectations that restrictions would be eased further as coronavirus cases in the area continue to decline.  

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 103.03 points or 1.43% to close at 7,054.70 on Friday, while the broader all shares index lost 34.06 points or 0.77% to end at 4,386.79.  

The PSEi closed lower “after NCR’s Alert Level 3 was maintained, contrary to some market expectations of some easing to Alert Level 2,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message.  

The government announced on Friday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases decided to keep NCR at Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14.  

OCTA Research fellow Guido David in a social media post on Oct. 23 said the capital’s weekly coronavirus case average went down to 996 or lower than 1,000 “for the first time since July 22 to 28”.  

Meanwhile, First Metro Investment Corp. Research Head Cristina S. Ulang said the market is worried that the robust third quarter results of some companies may be overshadowed by the “perceived higher inflation expectation for the month of October due next week.”  

Stocks also dropped as the United States posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2% in the third quarter, the “slowest increase since the end of last year’s recession,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Sales Head Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message on Friday.  

All sectoral indices declined on Friday. Services dropped 37.42 points or 1.94% to 1,899.14; property gave up 45.81 points or 1.44% to end at 3,118.89; holding firms went down 91.66 points or 1.3% to 6,937.40; financials lost 17.56 points or 1.13% to close at 1,533.09; industrials went down 45.64 points or 0.42% to 10,831.23; and mining and oil declined by 8.92 points or 0.08% to 10,095.86.  

Value turnover amounted to P7.7 billion on Friday with 1.12 billion shares switching hands, higher than the P7.16 billion with 921.51 million issues traded on Thursday. 

Decliners beat advancers, 107 to 84, while 45 names ended unchanged. 

Net foreign selling increased to P1.24 billion on Friday from the P656.64 million in net inflows logged on Thursday.  

Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan put the PSEi’s nearest support area at 6,940 and its next resistance at 7,320. 

Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said the market could range from 6,800 to 7,330 next week. — B.A.D. Añago