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Shares drop further on inflation data, virus fears

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

SHARES declined on Wednesday as market sentiment was hit by data showing faster inflation and the continuous spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the world.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 86.33 points or 1.21% to close at 7,047.85, while the all shares index declined 43.8 points or 1.02% to end at 4,230.14.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a mobile phone message that the local bourse ended lower as investor sentiment was affected by inflation data released on Tuesday.

Headline inflation picked up to 3.5% in December from 3.3% in November and 2.5% in December 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

The PSA attributed the increase to higher prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, and transport during the holidays.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the market closed lower as investors worried about the continued spread of COVID-19.

Reuters reported that mainland China posted 32 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 5, bringing its case count to 87,215. Tokyo also posted a new daily record of 1,591 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, while Brazil registered an additional 56,648 cases as of Tuesday.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the market declined as investors remain uncertain about the recovery of the Philippine economy.

“The market’s performance tells us that the uncertainty regarding the pandemic as well as the economy’s recovery is causing investors to take a more cautious approach,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

All sectoral indices at the PSE ended lower on Wednesday. Financials declined by 32.48 points or 2.29% to 1,380.37; holding firms retreated 99.84 points or 1.36% to 7,227.78; services went down 20.35 points or 1.33% to 1,503.20; mining and oil shrank 85.49 points or 0.87% to 9,680.75; property decreased 26.1 points or 0.7% to 3,679.18; and industrials dropped 30.39 points or 0.32% to 9,455.20.

Decliners beat advancers, 146 against 74, while 45 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Wednesday amounted to P11.91 billion with some 22.68 billion issues switching hands, higher than the P11.34 billion with 30.76 billion issues in the previous trading day.

Net foreign selling reached P685.39 million on Wednesday, higher than P80.27 million posted on Tuesday.

“In the remaining two trading days for the week, we’ll have to observe if the index manages to stay above the 7,000 mark. Otherwise, 6,700 may be considered the next support area. 7,300 remains the immediate resistance level,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said.

“The PSEi managed to end the day above 7,000. However, it may not be able to sustain this until the end of the week,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said.

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