July 21, 2022

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Stock index drops further on coronavirus worries

THE bellwether index slipped further on Thursday as rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country and latest balance of payments (BoP) data weighed on sentiment and ahead of meetings of key central banks.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down by 18.63 points or 0.29% to close at 6,256.17 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index inched up by 0.33 point or 0.01% to 3,381.86.

“Shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange dipped, ahead of looming central bank meetings in Europe and Japan,” Globalinks Securities and Stocks, Inc. Head of Sales Trading Toby Allan C. Arce said in a Viber message.

“Resurfacing concerns over COVID-19 risks amid the detection of more cases in the country with Omicron sub-variants weighed on the market. Our year-to-date balance of payments deficit, which is already wider compared to the same period last year, also dampened sentiment,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

The Philippines has logged 910 more infections involving more contagious subvariants of the Omicron coronavirus, the Health department said on Wednesday. Of the total, 816 were BA.5, 42 were BA.4, and 52 were BA.2.12.1 cases.

Meanwhile, the country’s BoP deficit widened to $1.57 billion in June from the $312-million deficit in the same month last year but slightly narrowed from the $1.61-billion gap in May.

In the first half of the year, the BoP deficit widened to $3.1 billion, from the $1.9-billion deficit in the same period in 2021.   

The majority of sectoral indices ended in the red on Thursday except for mining and oil, which went up by 217.86 points or 1.94% to 11,419.39, and financials, which increased by 18.65 points or 1.25% to 1,499.72.

Meanwhile, property went down by 20.84 points or 0.73% to close at 2,821.07; holding firms dropped by 40.18 points or 0.68% to 5,848.23; industrials decreased by 16.36 points or 0.17% to 9,412.47; and services lost 1.92 points or 0.11% to end Thursday’s session at 1,641.55.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 107 versus 69, while 60 names closed unchanged.

Value turnover climbed to P6.09 billion on Thursday with 807.09 million shares changing hands from the P5.03 billion with 733.64 million issues seen the previous trading day.

Foreign buyers turned sellers anew, logging P92.85 million in net sales on Thursday from the P22.65 million in net buying seen the previous trading day.

“The market’s direction may likely be determined by the outcome of the European Central Bank’s meeting on Thursday to begin Europe’s rate-hike cycle. Markets are hedging bets on a hike of either 25 basis points or 50 basis points, with the latter perhaps able to support a euro that has slipped below $1 this month,” Globalinks Securities and Stocks’ Mr. Arce said.

He placed the PSEi’s support at 6,100 and resistance at 6,500, while Philstocks Financial’s Mr. Tantiangco placed support at the 6,000-6,150 range and resistance at 6,400. — Justine Irish D. Tabile