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Stocks extend drop on profit taking, virus worries

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

LOCAL SHARES ended lower on Monday as investors engaged in profit taking and amid a lack of positive catalysts for the market.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined for a second straight day, dropping 35.02 points or 0.48% to close at 7,203.44, while the broader all shares index also fell 21.18 points or 0.48% to end at 4,321.30.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message that the market ended lower as investors opted to book their gains amid a lack of fresh leads.

“Pandemic worries aggravated by the entry of the new and more infective coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) variant into the Philippines also weighed on market sentiment,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

The Health department on Monday reported 2,163 new COVID-19 cases, which brought the total infection count to 502,736.

Davao City recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases at 134, followed by Cagayan at 100, Quezon City at 99, Leyte at 93, and Cavite at 75.

Meanwhile, AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the local bourse ended slightly lower as investors continue to monitor the health situation and economic recovery of the country.

“We expect the main index to continue sideways until government policies regarding vaccine rollout and quarantine restrictions are cleared up,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

China said on Saturday that it would donate 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines, Reuters reported. However, it did not specify which vaccines would be offered.

Some 50,000 vaccines made by Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech are expected to arrive in the Philippines by February.

Most sectoral indices ended lower on Monday, with industrials being the sole gainer, going up 21.74 points or 0.22% to 9,500.75.

Meanwhile, mining and oil declined 306.53 points or 3.08% to 9,642.13; financials shrank 19.48 points or 1.3% to 1,475.97; property went down 33.34 points or 0.9% to 3,661.48; holding firms decreased 21.74 points or 0.29% to 7,349.61; and services retreated 2.58 points or 0.16% to close the session at 1,555.98.

Decliners beat advancers, 137 against 95, while 43 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover amounted to P10.38 billion with 169.05 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P11.03 billion with 147.24 billion issues logged on Friday.

Net foreign selling stood at P509.91 million on Monday, higher than the P423.29 million in net outflows logged during the previous trading session.

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