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PSEi inches up as rising cases keep mart cautious

THE MAIN INDEX rebounded on Tuesday despite rising concerns over the continued spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections in the country.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 9.91 points or 0.14% to close at 6,766.83 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the broader all shares index declined by 4.45 points or 0.1% to finish at 4,074.95.

“Market apparently worried about the economic growth fallout of the virus infection spike as herd immunity looks a lot slower to achieve. That, in turn, will slow the pace of economic reopening,” First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan meanwhile pointed to a number of other events that kept investors on the sidelines, including the recent passage of a stimulus bill worth $1.9 trillion in the United States.

“[This underlines] a stock market rotation driven by the rising US yields,” Mr. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message.

“[Yesterday] morning, Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) raised the alert level status of Taal Volcano from level 1, low level of unrest, to level 2, increasing unrest, which advises the public against going to the direction of the volcano,” he added.

The government increased its alert level on Taal as the tourist attraction 65 kilometers south of the capital recorded increased unrest, Bloomberg reported.

Taal’s alert status was raised to level 2 after 28 volcanic tremors and four low-frequency volcanic earthquakes in the past 24 hours, Phivolcs said in a Tuesday advisory. It also recorded changes in the main crater lake and ground deformation.

Taal erupted in early 2020, killing dozens and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

Majority of sectoral indices went up marginally on Tuesday except for property, which fell by 26.79 points or 0.79% to 3,363.08.

Financials improved by 8.9 points or 0.62% to close at 1,437.87; holding firms increased by 17.93 points or 0.25% to 6,986.12; mining and oil went up by 21.14 points or 0.24% to 8,604.33; industrials inched up by 15.42 points or 0.17% to 8,656.62; and services rose by 1.54 points or 0.1% to 1,458.94.

Value turnover soared to P19.02 billion on Tuesday with 5.90 billion shares switching hands from the P9.85 billion seen on Monday. Decliners bested advances, 131 versus 83, while 48 names closed the session unchanged.

Net foreign selling surged to P10.55 billion on Tuesday from the P497.84 million seen on Monday.

Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said the PSEi may finish at the 6,700 level today, depending on the performance of the US market overnight.

FMIC’s Ms. Ulang meanwhile expects the benchmark index to finish between 6,600 and 6,800.

“There could be slow accumulation as this [market] dip is a buying opportunity, but the buying might not be big enough to lift the market substantially,” Ms. Ulang said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte with Bloomberg

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