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Shares inch higher as gov’t maintains restrictions

PHILIPPINE shares inched up on Tuesday following the government’s decision to maintain quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved by 18.69 points or 0.26% to close at 6,956.65, while the broader all shares index gained 17.76 points or 0.41% to end at 4,262.37.

“The index traded slightly lower for most of the session as investors digested the government’s decision to keep the GCQ (general community quarantine) with some restrictions status for NCR (National Capital Region), and MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) for several areas such as Davao and Iloilo city from July 1 to July 15,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Junior Equity Analyst Lance U. Soledad said in a Viber message.”

“The PSEi inched higher on another low-volume, sleepy, no-action trading session for blue chips. The government basically maintained current mobility restrictions for another month, which was no surprise, and drew no reaction from investors,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

“Most Asian stock markets ended with some losses on concerns of potential COVID-19 outbreaks because of the new Delta strain,” he added.

Malacañang announced on Tuesday that Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bulacan will remain under GCQ with “some restrictions” while Laguna and Cavite are still under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” until July 15.

Majority of sectoral indices closed in the green on Tuesday except for property, which lost 23.28 points or 0.68% to 3,380.83; and industrials, which declined by 10.51 points or 0.1% to end at 9,627.

Meanwhile, financials gained 22.35 points or 1.5% to close at 1,511.46; holding firms went up by 42.13 points or 0.6% to 6,985.50; services inched up by 5.49 points or 0.34% to 1,582.94; and mining and oil improved by 5.97 points or 0.06% to end at 9,456.91.

Value turnover decreased to P5.21 billion with 1.82 billion shares switching hands on Tuesday, from the P5.35 billion with 1.59 issues traded the previous day.

Decliners beat advancers, 113 against 96, while 41 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned sellers anew as they logged P379.35 million in net outflows on Tuesday versus the P336.82 million in net purchases seen on Monday.

Analysts expect the index to test the 7,000 resistance level in the coming days ahead of key data releases.

“We expect sideways trading for now… as investors await key economic data such as manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) and inflation,” AB Capital Securities’ Mr. Soledad said.

“The PSEi will continue to hover around the psychological 7,000 level until investors gain or lose confidence in the economy’s situation. In the meantime, investors will continue to look for opportunities in the broader market,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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