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PHL stocks post gains on global vaccine rollout

LOCAL STOCKS ended the first trading day of 2021 on a high note as investor sentiment got a lift from the ongoing rollout of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines around the world.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved 57.79 points or 0.8% to close at 7,197.50 on Monday, while the broader all shares index rose 44.55 points or 1.04% to 4,317.16.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a mobile phone message that the bourse improved as investors were optimistic on the distribution of several COVID-19 vaccines.

Britain begins vaccinating its population on Monday with the COVID-19 shot developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, touting its position as the first Western country to roll out an inoculation program against the novel coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Britain, which is rushing to vaccinate its population faster than the United States and the rest of Europe in a bid to put the pandemic behind it, is the first country to roll out the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot.

It last year rolled out the Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech vaccine. The first people are expected to be vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot before 0800 GMT.

Other Western countries have taken a longer and more cautious approach to rolling out vaccines, though Russia and China have been inoculating their citizens for months with several different vaccines still undergoing late-stage trials.

Back home, AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the market ended higher on the first trading day of the year as investors remained “cautiously optimistic” on local quarantine measures.

“Selling pressure subsided compared to what we saw in the previous weeks after current lockdown restrictions were extended instead of tightened, which some were expecting,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

Most sectoral indices at the PSE ended in the green on Monday, with financials being the sole decliner as it went down 7.65 points or 0.52% to 1,439.99.

Mining and oil increased 366.51 points or 3.84% to 9,894.66; property climbed 73.9 points or 2.01% to 3,738.37; services went up 20.2 points or 1.33% to 1,534.29; industrials gained 72.82 points or 0.77% to 9,466.24; and holding firms went up 45.75 points or 0.62% to 7,400.40.

Advancers edged out decliners, 124 against 121, while 36 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Monday amounted to P10.03 billion with 21.55 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P11.11 billon with 95.98 billion issues during the previous trading session.

Net foreign selling reached P214.08 million, reversing net inflows worth P87.48 million on Dec. 29, the last trading day of 2021.

“7,000 remains the psychological level of support, while 7,300 may be considered the nearest resistance area,” Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave with Reuters

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