PSEi retreats on fresh Covid worries

Credit to Author: Faye Almazan| Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 16:21:49 +0000

The stock market again slipped out of the 7,000 territory on Thursday as reports of increasing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases worldwide and losses in large-cap stocks worried investors.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.77 percent or 54.16 points to close at 6,997.62 while the broader All Shares declined by 0.42 percent or 17.33 points to finish at 4,127.54.

Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Claire Alviar said the bourse slid as the continued rise in coronavirus cases globally fueled investors’ concerns about the economy.

As of Thursday, the number of Covid-19 infections worldwide climbed to 56.3 million, with over 11.5 million from the United States, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally. Of the total, more than 1.35 million died.

In the Philippines, the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,337 to 413,430, of which 30,493 are active, the Department of Health said in its newest bulletin. Of the total, 374,939 have recovered and 7,998 did not.

Alviar also said the rising infection toll overshadowed recent hopes raised by the effectivity rates of some of the Covid-19 vaccines being developed, and that market overvaluation prompted investors to stop adding more shares while worries about the economy persisted.

Meanwhile, AAA Equities Head of Research Christopher Mangun attributed the shares’ decline to losses in large-cap conglomerates SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. and their counterparts in the property sector.

He said the stock market continued to move sideways as investors gauge the progress of the economy’s rebound. This, he added, “tells us that most are willing to hold on to positions in the hopes that prices may go higher in the near-term driven by a strong fourth quarter.”

According to Mangun, the bourse might still trade lower on Friday. He noted that general sentiment remained optimistic, as seen in the movement of second-liners and speculative issues.

“Investors are more confident trading [in] the market now than in the last four months,” he said.

Most local sectors fell on Thursday, with holding firms leading decliners at 1.67 percent. Financials was the exception, closing higher at 1.57 percent.

Total volume turnover was at 11.78 billion, shares valued at P11.12 billion.

Winners outpaced losers, 114 to 99, while 60 securities were unchanged.

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