Stocks drop on typhoon damage, Omicron fears


STOCKS dropped on Monday as investors assess the damage caused by Typhoon Odette, which may affect economic growth, and amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 60.05 points or 0.82% to close at 7,237.61 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went down by 23.21 points or 0.60% to 3,828.38.

“Share prices opened the week on a sour note as the local market weakened amid the damage caused by Typhoon Odette in the Vis-Min area, particularly in the agriculture and manufacturing industries,” Papa Securities Corp., Equities Strategist Manny P. Cruz said in a Viber message.

Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) brought heavy rains and destructive winds over central and southern Philippines. It first made landfall in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte on Thursday. Surigao del Norte may have suffered around P20 billion in damage, according to provincial officials.

The Agriculture department on Monday said damage to crops in these areas is estimated at P333.40 million. Agriculture typically makes up around 10% of overall economic output, and a fourth of the country’s jobs.

“The local bourse joined its regional peers in the decline as worries over the Omicron variant disrupting the global economic recovery weighed on sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

Asian share markets fell and oil prices slid on Monday as surging Omicron cases triggered tighter restrictions in Europe and threatened to drag on the global economy into the new year, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4% and Japan’s Nikkei 0.7%.

The spread of Omicron saw the Netherlands go into lockdown on Sunday and put pressure on others to follow, though the United States seemed set to remain open.

The Philippines on Monday also reported another case of the Omicron variant, bringing the total to three.

Sectoral indices ended in the red on Monday except for financials, which went up 7.86 points or 0.48% to 1,629.78.

On the other hand, mining and oil declined 110.98 points or 1.21% to 9.003.95; industrials decreased 119.13 points or 1.14%; holding firms tumbled 78.94 points or 1.10% to 7,051.95; services went down 21.28 points or 1.05% to 1,997.47; and property retreated 26.10 points or 0.80% to 3,203.54.

Value turnover plunged to P6.70 billion on Monday with 1.09 billion shares traded from the P14.47 billion with 3.08 billion issues that switched hands on Friday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 112 against 57, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned net sellers on Monday, recording P237.48 million in net outflows versus the reversal of the P333.22 million in net purchases seen on Friday.

Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan pegged the PSEi’s immediate resistance at 7,300, while immediate support is at 6,920. —

M.C. Lucenio

with Reuters