PSEi at 6,700 ahead of Covid curfew

Wall Street’s latest rally helped keep the stock market steady on Friday after news of a National Capital Region-wide curfew this month deepened investors’ worries.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 0.14 percent or 9.37 points to close at 6,728.55, while the broader All Shares gained 0.23 percent or 9.15 points to finish at 4,059.58.

Philstocks Financial Inc. senior research analyst Japhet Tantiangco attributed the bourse’s latest performance to positive spillovers from US markets.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all rose overnight by 0.58 percent, 1.04 percent and 2.52 percent, respectively.

The main index struggled to close higher as the renewed surge in Covid-19 cases continues to spook investors.

The number of these cases soared by 4,578 — much higher than Thursday’s 3,749 — to 611,618, of which 52,012 are active, according to the latest Department of Health tally on Friday. Of the total, 546,912 have recovered and 12,694 did not.

Foreign funds fled the country for the 18th straight day, with net foreign selling reaching P602.86 million. This brings the daily average to P1.25 billion.

Trading conviction also waned as net value turnover was at P6.53 billion.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said local shares were flat on thin volumes as investors retreated to the sidelines after Metro Manila mayors agreed to impose a two-week unified curfew to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

The curfew will last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. It will begin on March 15.

The sectoral indices ended mixed. Holding firms gained the most at 0.4 percent, while mining and oil led decliners at 0.64 percent.

Total volume turnover was at 3.41 billion shares, valued at P6.87 billion.

Winners outpaced losers, 108 to 99, while 60 securities were unchanged.