Coronavirus cases, curfews drag stocks

The stock market tumbled out of the 6,800 level again on Thursday after a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases prompted some local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region to reimpose curfews.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 1.31 percent or 89.14 points to finish at 6,719.18 while the wider All Shares dipped by 0.69 percent or 27.92 points to close at 4,050.43.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said the reimplementation of curfews in some cities in Metro Manila led to a share selloff.

The new curfews aim to control the renewed spread of the coronavirus in the capital, which the government has blamed on the improper implementation of safety protocols amid the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

The number of confirmed cases jumped by 3,749 to 607,048 on Thursday, of which 47,769 are active, the latest Department of Health data showed. Of the total, 546,671 have recovered and 12,608 did not.

According to AAA Equities Head of Research Christopher Mangun, selling pressure picked up after curfews were again enforced.

“Investors were reminded of the potential negative economic impact of these tighter restrictions,” Mangun said.

The blue chip index may continue to decline as general sentiment deteriorates, he added.
Most sectoral indices ended the day in the red, with holding firms leading decliners at 2.28 percent. Mining and oil and property were the exceptions, gaining 3.55 percent and 0.08 percent, respectively.

Total volume turnover was at P5.05 billion shares, valued at P8.58 billion.

Winners outpaced losers, 120 to 112, while 39 securities were unchanged.