Bargain hunting lifts PSEi amid Covid fears

Investors searching again for bargains helped the stock market close marginally higher on Tuesday as a resurgence in coronavirus cases is spooking Filipinos.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 0.15 percent or 9.91 points to end at 6,766.83 while the wider All Shares shed 0.11 percent or 4.45 points to close at 4,074.95.

Philstocks Financial Inc. senior research analyst Japhet Tantiangco attributed the slight gains to bargain hunting, but noted the bourse’s struggle to close in the green as worries over the resurgence of Covid-19 in the country weighed on investor sentiment.

The number of daily cases have been going “above 3,000 for four consecutive days already,” he said.

As of Tuesday, that number rose to 2,668 — compared with 3,356 the day before — to 600,428, of which 41,822 are active, according to the latest Department of Health tally. Of the total, 546,078 have recovered and 12,528 did not.

Foreign funds continued to flee, with net foreign selling reaching P10.55 billion.

Tuesday marks the 15th day of foreign selling, which averages P1.39 billion daily, according to Tantiangco.

Net value turnover also dropped to P8.84 billion from Monday’s P9.32 billion.

The indices of most sectors rose, with financials leading gainers at 0.62 percent. Property was the sole decliner at 0.79 percent.

Total volume turnover was at 5.9 billion shares, valued at P19.02 billion.

Losers edged out winners, 131 to 83, while 48 securities were unchanged.