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Stocks flat as investors remain on sidelines


Stocks flat as investors remain on sidelines

The stock market closed flat after trading sideways for much of Tuesday as investors remain anxious over new developments in the country’s worsening coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 0.004 percent or 0.24 point to end at 6,172.81, while the wider All Shares declined by 0.22 percent or 7.9 points to finish at 3,625.85.

According to Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Japhet Tantiangco, the market traded sideways on the back of mixed investor sentiment.

“We had bargain-hunters today who are still holding on to economic recovery hopes, [but] at the same time we [saw] profit-taking as coronavirus worries linger,” Tantiangco explained.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country grew by 634 to 57,575, with 35,483 deemed active. Of the total, 20,459 have recovered and 1,603 died.

The updated toll comes as the Department of Health confirmed that the National Capital Region was now in the “danger zone” after several hospitals reported that their bed capacity for Covid-19 patients had reached full.

Tantiangco also said trading had been “tepid” lately, adding that the average net value turnover of P4.5 billion so far this week was lower than its year-to-date average of P6 billion.

“This shows that many are now staying on the sidelines, waiting for further cues with [regard] to the [Covid-19] situation and the outlook” on the economy and the pandemic, the analyst said.

One of these would be the government’s decision on our quarantine measures after July 15,” he added.

AAA Equities Head of Research Christopher Mangun said the main index was “unaffected by the selloff in the stock markets abroad.”

“Our market remains in limbo as investors weigh risks with [the] rising [number of] coronavirus infections and overwhelmed medical facilities,” he said.

Wall Street mostly closed in the red overnight, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shedding 0.94 percent and 2.13 percent, respectively. The Dow Jones inched up by 0.04 percent.

Most Asian markets mirrored their American peers. Tokyo declined by 0.87 percent, Shanghai lost 0.83 percent, Hong Kong was down 1.14 percent, Seoul shed 0.11 percent, Singapore slid by 0.33 percent, Bangkok slumped by 0.47 percent and Ho Chi Minh dropped by 0.07 percent. Jakarta gained 0.29 percent.

In Manila, most sectors tumbled, led by mining and oil at 2.29 percent. Property and holding firms rose by 1.93 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively.

Total volume turnover hit 5.8 billion shares, valued at P5.13 billion. Net foreign selling reached P60.12 million.

Losers outpaced winners, 126 to 87, with 29 securities unchanged.


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