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Local shares rise on potential lockdown easing

LOCAL STOCKS climbed on Tuesday as global equities rallied and following the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief’s suggestion to further ease quarantine restrictions to help boost consumption.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange (PSEi) rose by 84.85 points or 1.21% to end at 7,044.06 yesterday. The all shares index also went up by 41.18 points or 0.97% to close at 4,248.84.

“Selling pressure has diminished as investors gained optimism from the global rally in equities. Stock markets abroad continue to move higher and this is encouraging local investors to hold on to their positions,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua’s recommendation to ease restrictions further encouraged investors as more businesses would be allowed to operate.

“Given the advice of the NEDA that the Philippines should be placed under less restrictive quarantine measures sparked hopes for an economic recovery in the Philippines, in addition to the plan of reopening the cinemas by March 1,” Ms. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Mr. Chua said in his presentation to President Rodrigo R. Duterte and other government officials aired late Monday that the Philippines should be put under modified general community quarantine — the least restrictive classification — to help revive the pandemic-hit economy.

“The general sentiment is still cautious as investors await policy changes on mobility and business restrictions as well as any surprises from fourth quarter earnings,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun added.

All sectoral indices at the PSE ended in the green on Tuesday. Property went up by 60.62 points or 1.72% to end at 3,584.92; holding firms gained 103.67 points or 1.44% to 7,256.03; industrials increased by 78.16 points at 0.86% to 9,099.38; financials increased by 8.57 points or 0.58% to 1,466.33; services rose by 2.85 points or 0.19% to 1,499; and mining and oil added 3.42 points or 0.03% to close at 9,135.13.

Value turnover slowed to P18.16 billion on Tuesday with 21.86 billion issues switching hands, lower than Monday’s P19.36 billion with 18.73 billion issues traded.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 122 against 89, while 54 names finished unchanged on Tuesday.

Foreigners turned sellers anew, with net outflows logged at P68.75 million versus the P5.76 million in net purchases recorded the previous day.

“For [Wednesday], we’re still expecting an upside given the current positive sentiment in the bourse. Also, Asian markets and US futures are mostly in the green. This may spill over until [today],” Philstocks Financial’s Ms. Alviar said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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