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Stocks drop further as market remains cautious

LOCAL SHARES declined further on Monday as the market anticipates companies’ earnings reports and with the country’s vaccination program still being finalized.

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSEi) dropped 31.8 points or 0.45% to close at 6,959.21 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went down by 15.3 points or 0.36% to finish at 4,207.66.

“The market remained in the negative territory for the 2nd straight session as investors continue to wait for more earnings releases from index companies, as well as further details regarding the vaccine rollout as that will help paint a better picture of the country’s economic outlook,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Junior Equity Analyst Lance Soledad said in a Viber message.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the details of the vaccine rollout will affect the market’s movement.

“Investors are still taking a cautious approach, waiting on changes in government policies regarding mobility and business restrictions. Trading volumes on blue chips continue to decline as volatility quiets down,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

The Philippines is set to receive 600,000 doses this month of Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine donated by China, a portion of which will be used to inoculate military personnel, a senior government official said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The Philippines aims to start its mass vaccination program using 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine secured through the COVAX international vaccine-sharing facility, which are also due to be delivered this month.

The Philippines has negotiated supply agreements with Moderna, Gamaleya, Janssen, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Novavax for 148 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, the bulk of which is expected to arrive in the second and third quarters of this year.

Majority of sectoral indices closed lower on Monday except for mining and oil, which gained 15.44 points or 0.16% to 9,131.71 and financials, which rose 0.68 point or 0.04% to end at 1,457.76.

Meanwhile, property went down 28.54 points or 0.8% to 3,524.30; holding firms decreased by 52.62 points or 0.73% to 7,152.36; services slumped 3.54 points or 0.23% to 1,496.15; and industrials dropped 14.62 points or 0.16% to 9,021.22.

Value turnover went up to P19.36 billion on Monday with 18.73 billion issues switching hands, higher than the P15.09 billion with 22.92 billion shares traded on Thursday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 125 versus 90, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers, with net inflows recorded at P5.76 million versus the P185.64 million in net selling recorded the previous trading day.

“For the week, we expect the index to range trade between 6,800 and 7,160 as investors wait for more earnings results, and details regarding the vaccination drive of the country,” AB Capital Securities’ Mr. Soledad said. — K.C.G. Valmonte

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