Lack of catalysts keeps main index below 6,000

lack of catalysts keeps main index below 6000 - Lack of catalysts keeps main index below 6,000

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX stayed below the 6,000 level on Thursday as the lack of a strong catalyst pulled it lower at the close of trading.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 30.45 points or 0.51% to close at 5,902.39, while the broader all shares index dipped 9.00 points or 0.25% to end at 3,553.56.

“The PSEi ended lower despite opening higher as selling pressure outweighed the buying. Investors continued to take cash off the table as the sentiment remains cautious,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an email.

The main index opened at 5,955.55 and hit a high of 5,973.59 intraday before settling at its low for the day at the close of the session.

Doubts on the coronavirus situation in the country, fueled by the Health Department’s non-confirmation of whether the coronavirus curve has flattened, was the primary drag on sentiment, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said.

“(The Health Department) advised the public that there could be a surge in COVID-19 cases as some units failed to report complete information. This may imply that the Philippines has really not yet flattened the curve,” she said in a text message.

If that is the case, lockdowns will continue to be on the table, which would mean a continued dampened demand for goods and services, Ms. Alviar noted.

Local coronavirus cases stood at 245,143 as of Wednesday, after 3,176 new cases were reported. Metro Manila and nearby areas remain under a relaxed lockdown.

Half of the PSE’s sectoral indices ended Thursday’s trading session higher: property by 7.50 points or 0.27% to 2,716.99; financials by 4.81 points or 0.41% to 1,153.81; and mining and oil by 9.93 points or 0.16% to 6,009.73.

On the other hand, holding firms lost 76.74 points or 1.24% to 6,095.86; services dropped 7.71 points or 0.52% to 1,471.01; and industrials trimmed 0.35 point or less than one percent to 8,030.41 at the close of trading.

Value turnover on Thursday stood at P5.96 billion with 770.87 million issues switching hands, higher than the previous day’s P5.1 billion with 838.18 million issues.

“Trading volumes picked up, which tells us that more investors are interested to come in at current levels. It may continue higher on the last trading day of the week as bargain hunters pick up battered shares,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said.

More advancers were tallied at 101 against decliners which stood at 85. A total of 53 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors snapped a 16-day net selling run as they posted net purchases of P420.91 million on Thursday versus Wednesday’s P543-million net outflow.

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