Pandemic worries clobber PH shares

The local bourse plunged on Monday as investors worried over the resurgence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the country.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 1.81 percent or 124.45 points to 6,756.92, while the broader All Shares declined by 1.9 percent or 79.14 points to end at 4,079.40.

AAA Equities head of research Christopher Mangun said investors exited as the number of local cases of Covid-19 surged anew.

The Philippines recorded 3,356 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 597,763. Of the figure, 39,330 are active cases, 545,912 are recoveries and 12,521 are fatalities. It was the fourth straight day that domestic Covid-19 cases hovered at more than 3,000 daily.

Mangun said “failure to maintain a grip on the situation will certainly spell disaster for the stock market.”

He noted that the selling pressure was minimal at the beginning of trading as investors assessed the sentiment.

“No one wanted to be the first to unload shares as the recent spike in new cases may be temporary and the market may still recover. However, selling pressure kept picking up drawing more and more investors into the selloff,” Mangun explained.

The market opened at 6,879.77 and fell to its intraday low of 6,745.75 before closing a bit higher at 6,756.92.

Mangun sees the main index continuing lower in the coming days towards its support between 6,700 and 6,600.

For his part, Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said investors returned to the US markets amid better-than-expected jobs report and the passage of another relief bill abroad.

The local market recorded another outflow of foreign funds as net foreign selling amounted to P497.84 million on Monday.

The local sectors ended in a bloodbath with the banks losing the most at 3.29 percent.
Total volume turnover was at 7.2 billion shares valued at P9.85 billion.

Losers outpaced winners at a large margin of 201 to 38, while 29 securities were unchanged.