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Shares end lower as gov’t reimposes restrictions

STOCKS went down on Monday as the government reimposed travel restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, creating a travel bubble to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 40.93 points or 0.63% to finish at 6,395.17 on Monday, while the all shares index went down by 21.7 points or 0.55% to 3,887.71.

COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juanis G. Barredo said in a Viber message that the local bourse went down on news of tighter travel and business restrictions.

“The PSEi continued lower as the health crisis is perceived to be getting worse,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John J. Mangun said in an e-mail. “The general sentiment remains fearful, evident in the rush of selling at the beginning of the trading session.”

“Prices recovered after the initial sell-off as some investors were more willing to come in and buy shares at the lower prices as compared to last week. This may be due to the government’s commitment to the targeted lockdowns rather than shutting the economy down as a whole,” Mr. Mangun added.

The Philippines recorded 7,757 additional COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total count to 663,794.

The government’s COVID-19 task force has reimplemented restrictions in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, calling the bubble “NCR Plus.”

Travel to and from the bubble area is limited to health and emergency frontline services personnel, government officials and government frontline personnel, persons traveling for medical and humanitarian reasons and those going to the airport to travel abroad, Reuters reported.

Non-essential businesses have been ordered to temporarily halt operations, while capacity limits have been reimposed on other firms.

All sectoral indices closed in the red on Monday except for services, which went up by 10.52 points or 0.75% to 1,412.13. Meanwhile, mining and oil fell by 240.22 points or 2.82% to close at 8,270.93; industrials went down by 122.12 points or 1.43% to 8,398.61; property declined by 43.25 points or 1.35% to 3,141.08; financials dropped by 10.28 points or 0.73% to 1,388.30; and holding firms slumped by 33.25 points or 0.5% to finish at 6,495.68.

Value turnover went down to P6.29 billion on Monday with 2.48 billion shares switching hands from the P10.41 billion with 3.53 billion issues traded on Friday.

Decliners outperformed advancers, 172 against 53, while 33 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P725.41 million on Monday from the P1.33 billion on Friday.

“We may see this panic selling continue as cases continue to pick up,” Mr. Mangun said.

He placed the main index’s support at 6,200, while COL Financial’s Mr. Barredo put it at 6,250. Mr. Barredo said the PSEi may test this support level in the coming days. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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