Lingering COVID-19 jitters pull market down
The local stock barometer closed the week on a sluggish note, nearing bear territory as investors priced in the lingering coronavirus jitters across regional markets alongside a string of local corporate developments.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 121.12 points or 1.64 percent to close at 7,282 at the dawning of the local corporate earnings season.
Elsewhere in the emerging Asian region, trading sentiment was mixed as investors continued to track the COVID-19 contagion. Some were a bit wary on the new reporting system adopted by China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
At the local market, all counters ended in the red, led by the financial, industrial, holding firm and property counters which all slumped by over 1 percent.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.45 billion. Some P864.82 million worth of net foreign selling dragged the market.
Despite the PSEi’s decline, there were 100 advancers that outnumbered 82 decliners, as investors focused on buying opportunities outside the main stock basket.
The PSEi was weighed down most by Jollibee, which fell by 5.03 percent.
Property giant Ayala Land tumbled by 4.2 percent after reporting its fourth quarter earnings results. The company grew its net profit last year by 13 percent to P33.2 billion on higher earnings from lot sales and new leasing formats but development revenues were flat.
For the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, ALI’s net profit grew by 15 percent year-on-year to P9.97 billion, driven by a 1.2-percent rise in revenues to P47 billion.
ICTSI and PLDT both declined over 3 percent, while Metrobank tumbled by 2.27 percent.
SM Prime, SM Investments, BDO, Ayala Corp. and BPI all lost over 1 percent.
SM Prime’s shares slipped despite an increase in its weight on the PSEi during the latest rebalancing.
AGI and Meralco both declined by less than 1 percent.
On the other hand, Megaworld bucked the day’s downturn, gaining 4 percent.
Metro Pacific also gained 2.33 percent, while JG Summit slightly firmed up.
Several companies outside the PSEi post gains, particularly MacroAsia Corp., which surged by 11.56 percent. The Lucio Tan group-led company disclosed that the Provincial Government of Cavite’s Public-Private Partnership selection committee had chosen the MacroAsia-China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. consortium as its joint venture partner for Sangley Point International Airport. Phase 1 was estimated to cost P208.5 billion.
Villar group-led Vista Land also jumped by 14.8 percent, while Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy-led holding firm ISM added 3.26 percent.
Manila Water, which recently took in as investor tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., advanced by 2.64 percent.
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