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Stocks climb as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

SHARES ended in the green for the third consecutive day as investor optimism was propelled by latest developments on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidates and the country’s lower unemployment rate.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved 113.51 points or 1.6% to finish at 7,194.13 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index rose 51.16 points or 1.21% to close at 4,273.25.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the market extended its rally on the back of positive news regarding a COVID-19 vaccine.

“This comes as the United Kingdom approves Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use,” Mr. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message.

Britain approved Pfizer, Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the rest of the world in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation program in history.

Meanwhile, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said the market rallied as investors have also been watching out for positive economic data.

“Unemployment fell to single digits at 8.7% according to the latest data. This is coming from a high of 17.7% recorded in the second quarter,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading and Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said market participants have been positioning themselves in companies that they feel will perform well in the following quarters.

“Among the blue chips, index heavyweights like SM Investments Corp. (SM), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH), and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) contributed the most to the PSEi’s upward move today,” Mr. Pangan said in a mobile phone message on Thursday.

Almost all sectoral indices ended as gainers at the PSE on Thursday, with services being the only index ending lower, going down 2.42 points or 0.15% to 1,533.68.

Financials went up 54.95 points or 3.87% to 1,473.85; holding firms increased 132.55 points or 1.8% to 7,476.08; mining and oil climbed 141.92 points or 1.65% to 8,734; industrials picked up 111.75 points or 1.21% to 9,317.16; and property rose 17.92 points or 0.49% to 3,614.2.

Value turnover on Thursday stood at P10.74 billion with some 3.65 billion issues switching hands, compared to the previous session’s P8.80 billion with 3.90 billion issues.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 121 versus 98, while 43 names ended unchanged.Net foreign selling was at P476.98 million on Thursday, up from the P282.35 million in the previous session.

“As the index draws closer to its nearest resistance at 7,200, we may have to watch closely if the index breaks out of this level before the weekend. Otherwise, closest support may be drawn at the 6,750 area,” Mr. Pangan said.

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