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Shares decline as coronavirus cases surge anew

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

STOCKS ended their three-day rally, finishing in red territory on Tuesday, as market sentiment was affected by rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases globally.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 53.62 points or 0.73% to end at 7,227.73, while the broader all shares index fell 17.5 points or 0.4% to close at 4,321.01.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a mobile phone message that the local bourse fell as investors were “spooked” by the sudden increase of COVID-19 cases around the world.

More than 71.69 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,617,065​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

“Locally, market participants may be expressing some concern that the COVID-19 transmission rate may increase over the upcoming holidays,” Mr. Pangan said. The Health department reported that as of Monday, the country’s total COVID-19 case count was at 450,733.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the local market was affected by the return of other countries to firmer lockdown measures.

“The negative sentiment caused by the surging COVID-19 cases around the world and the return to strict lockdowns primarily in the US and in England have also contributed to Tuesday’s decline,” Mr. Tantiagco said in a mobile phone message.

London is set to move into England’s highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions, while Canada began its inoculation drive to become the third nation to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after the UK and the United States (US), Reuters reported.

Daily new cases in South Korea also continued to hover at unprecedented levels, with the country’s prime minister pleading with residents to abide by social distancing rules to avoid greater restrictions.

Back home, among sectoral indices, financials was the only gainer on Tuesday, rising 0.72 point or 0.04% to close at 1,511.02.

Meanwhile, holding firms went down 84.79 points or 1.13% to 7,408.52; services declined 13.74 points or 0.89% to 1,528.56; industrials shrank 62.82 points or 0.66% to 9,459.14; property retreated 13 points or 0.35% to 3,677.96; and mining and oil decreased 8.84 points or 0.09% to 9,402.09.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 128 versus 95, while 49 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Tuesday reached P10.13 billion with 63.91 billion switching hands, higher than the P8.93 billion with 46.02 billion issues during the previous session.

Net foreign selling amounted to P615.94 million on Tuesday, down from the P816.66 million in net outflows seen in the previous session.

“Immediate resistance may still be drawn at 7,500, while nearest support is pegged at 6,700,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said.

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