PSEi closes lower on renewed coronavirus worries

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PHILIPPINE shares moved in line with global markets on Friday as investors worried over the economic toll of continued rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases across the world.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 58.91 points or 0.95% to close at 6,088.75 on Friday. The broader all shares index slid 28.20 points or 0.78% to 3,579.60.

“The PSEi closed the Friday session lower as investors parsed mixed US corporate earnings reports and economic data in the wake of a drop in Asian markets,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The PSEi’s performance mirrored that of Wall Street on Thursday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices fell 0.50%, 0.34% and 0.73%, respectively.

Asian stocks were mixed on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices shed 0.32% and 0.33%, respectively, while China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and South Korea’s Kospi indices gained 0.63% and 0.80%, respectively.

The Philippines was among Asia’s declining markets for the day as worries over the continued spread of COVID-19 affected investor sentiment.

“The index ended lower as investors may have felt concerned that the continued rise in COVID-19 cases might prompt the government to impose stricter quarantine measures in major cities of the country,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren T. Pangan said in a text message.

“6,000 remains the psychological support of the market, while immediate resistance may be pegged at 6,350-6,400 area,” he added.

On Thursday, the Health Department reported 2,498 new COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s total tally to 61,266. Of the new cases, 1,886 came from Metro Manila, 198 from Cebu, 57 from Cavite, 44 from Davao Del Sur and 44 from Laguna.

These locations are mostly filled with business districts, which raises worries that a continued worsening of the situation may prompt stricter quarantine measures and work stoppage.

Nearly all sectoral indices of the local bourse closed Friday’s session with losses. Property lost 106.91 points or 3.5% to 2,940.90; mining and oil trimmed 69.40 points or 1.33% to 5,112.03; holding firms gave up 21.59 points or 0.33% to 6,405.71; services slipped 1.60 point or 0.11% to 1,417.42; and financials dipped 1.24 points or 0.1% to 1,198.45.

The sole gaining index was industrials, which improved 1.27 point or 0.01% to 7,417.65.

Value turnover stood at P4.12 billion with 1.84 billion issues switching hands, slightly lower from Thursday’s P4.41 billion with 4.8 billion issues.

Decliners beat advancers, 123 against 69, while 44 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling was trimmed to P525.73 million on Friday from P641.67 million the previous day. — Denise A. Valdez