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World’s slowing death toll brings hope to battered PH stocks

/ 04:09 AM April 07, 2020

The local stock barometer rallied past the 5,500 level on Monday as regional markets welcomed signs of a slowing body count in some of the world’s virus hot spots outside of mainland China.The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) racked up 223.84 points, or 4.19 percent, to close at 5,570.81, tracking mostly upbeat regional markets and the rise in US stock futures.

Investors across the region welcomed reports of lower daily death tolls in Italy, France, Spain and even in the United States, specifically in New York. In Wuhan, China, the virus epicenter, the government has begun easing a lockdown that commenced on Jan. 23.

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“Market volatility appears to have lessened, a sign that so much negativity may have already been priced in. However, we can’t call a bottom yet as the COVID-19 pandemic is still wrecking havoc on the global economy,” said Jose Vistan, head of research at AB Capital Securities.

COVID-19, which usually appears as a respiratory distress, is the disease cause by the new coronavirus.

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“The thought of this impacting outlook for the coming months or quarters will put a lid on confidence. We see an extended period of base building at best,” Vistan added.

Total value turnover for the day was thin at P4.86 billion. Domestic investors supported the day’s ascent as there was just P470.8 million worth of net foreign selling.

“We saw limited action at the open as investors were trying to get a feel of the market. Luckily, there was minor selling, which signaled bulls to take over,” said Christopher Mangun, head of research at AAA Equities.

The day’s rally was led by gains in retail and consumer stocks.

“Blue-chip issues like URC and RRHI saw double-digit percentage gains as investors see strength in the retail space despite the lockdown,”

Ma­ngun said.

URC and RRHI, both led by the Gokongwei family, surged by 14.2 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.

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After Monday’s substantial rally, there could be profit-taking today, Mangun said. “If it can stay above 5,500 till the end of the week, investors will gain more optimism,” he added.

The day’s gains were led by the industrial and services counters, both of which surged by over 6 percent.

The holding firm counter gained 4.1 percent, while the property counter rose by 2.61 percent.

The financial counter rose by 1.73 percent, while the mining/oil counter added 0.85 percent.There were 119 advancers that edged out 76 decliners, while 41 stocks were unchanged.

Globe Telecom surged by 12.2 percent, while Meralco rose by 8.33 percent. Ayala Corp. added 6.43 percent.

Puregold advanced by nearly 6 percent while PLDT and DMCI both rose by over 4 percent.Jollibee and SM Prime both added nearly 4 percent, while conglomerate SM Investments—the day’s most actively traded company—rose by 3.03 percent.

BDO also went up by 3.22 percent while BPI and Megaworld both gained over 2 percent.

Ayala Land added 1.56 percent, while Metrobank and GT Capital also firmed up.

Meanwhile, Security Bank declined by 2.3 percent. INQ

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TAGS: Business, coronavirus Philippines, Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi)
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