Stocks sink further as virus tally continues to rise

stocks sink further as virus tally continues to rise - Stocks sink further as virus tally continues to rise

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

SHARES continued to decline on Tuesday due to sustained worries over the thousands of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases reported in the Philippines.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 61.01 points or 0.96% to end at 6,267.40, while the broader all shares index shed 24.34 points or 0.65% to close at 3,677.83.

“The market trading today is somehow giving us a hint that the investors are not quite optimistic on the market given the current situation, fears of Metro Manila going back to stricter quarantine measures and uncertainties in US,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in a text message on Tuesday.

The Philippines reported 2,099 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, pushing the country’s total tally to 46,333 cases, where 32,845 are still active. The virus has killed 1,303 so far, while 12,185 were able to recover.

But quarantine measures in Metro Manila remain relaxed, worrying investors that the number of COVID-19 cases may keep growing, making it difficult to return to normal operations. For example, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, which ferries passengers along EDSA to central business districts, has suspended operations starting Tuesday because of the hundreds of COVID-19 cases among its staff.

Across the world, the virus has already infected 11.62 million people as of Tuesday and some 538,079 have died.

“Local shares traded lower at close as investors couldn’t shake off a continued rise in coronavirus cases and inflation came out much higher than expected for June,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The government reported on Tuesday that inflation picked up to 2.5% in June from 2.1% in May, but lower than the 2.7% seen in the same month in 2019. The turnout is higher than the median estimate of 2.2% in BusinessWorld’s poll of economists.

Higher inflation was attributed to the easing of lockdowns during the month, which drove up the prices of widely used goods.

The market closed with four sectoral indices posting declines. Property dropped 70.47 points or 2.24% to 3,070.28; services fell 18.68 points or 1.28% to 1,432.39; industrials slid 71.72 points or 0.90% to 7,858.27; and holding firms shed 13.71 points or 0.21% to 6,518.82.

The gainers were mining and oil, which added 14.32 points or 0.26% to 5,473.23, and financials, which climbed 2.18 points or 0.17% to 1,241.89 at the end of the session.

Value turnover on Tuesday stood at P7.59 billion with 1.48 billion issues switching hands, up from the previous day’s 6.15 billion with 1.07 billion issues.

Advancers narrowly outnumbered decliners, 99 against 96, while 47 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors remained sellers, with net outflows growing to P2.51 billion from P745.45 million the previous day.

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