By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
LOCAL SHARES pulled back on Monday as the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines weighed on investor sentiment.
The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 44.25 points or 0.69% to close at 6,328.41 on Monday. The broader all shares index also slipped 15.76 points or 0.42% to end at 3,702.17.
“Local shares closed lower… as lack of leads made investors focus on other pertinent issues such as the worldwide surge in COVID-19 cases and the upcoming inflation report,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
He noted investors were still waiting for the resumption of Wall Street trading after a three-day holiday weekend and thus took cues from other news.
But unlike the local bourse, other Asian markets were faring in green territory on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices, China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and South Korea’s Kospi index were recording gains by the time the PSE closed.
“Asian stock markets rallied led by Chinese shares on encouraging comments from state media on how a healthy bull market will be extremely important to its economy in the future,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.
“The PSEi did the opposite and ended slightly lower as investors are worried about a surge in new coronavirus cases and reports that the virus has mutated and is more contagious,” he added.
The Department of Health reported a record daily high of 2,434 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on Sunday, raising the country’s total to 44,254. There were also global news reports that COVID-19 may be airborne, citing more than 200 experts from different countries.
These issues, along with profit taking, brought the PSEi down after four straight days of gains. “The market corrected on profit taking…after we contracted the highest number of infections (on Sunday),” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message.
Four of six sectoral indices closed with losses on Monday: financials dropped 27.85 points or 2.19% to 1,239.71; property fell 28.93 points or 0.91% to 3,140.75; holding firms slid 33.46 points or 0.51% to 6,532.53; and industrials decreased 20.74 points or 0.26% to 7,929.99.
On the other hand, mining and oil gained 152.07 points or 2.86% to 5,458.91, and services grew 18.99 points or 1.32% to 1,451.07.
Some 1.07 billion issues valued at P6.15 billion switched hands on Monday, down from 2.66 billion issues worth P7.39 billion in the previous session. Advancers and decliners totalled 103 each, while 43 names ended unchanged.
Offshore investors returned to selling on Monday with net outflows totalling P745.45 million, a reversal of Friday’s net buying of P834.22 million.