Business World

PHL stocks rise as gov’t eyes targeted lockdowns

- K.C.G. Valmonte

STOCKS rallied on Thursday as investors went bargain hunting and after the government said it could impose targeted lockdowns instead of country- or province-wide quarantine restrictio­ns to curb the spread of coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 48.72 points or 0.71% to close at 6,834.66 on Thursday, while the all shares index gained 16.85 points or 0.40% to 4,232.11.

“The market rallied on expectatio­ns that granular lockdowns will now be implemente­d that will in effect conclude the tight nationwide restrictio­ns. This will indicate that more industries will be reopened [on] a sustainabl­e basis,” Papa Securities Corp. Equities Strategist Manny P. Cruz said in a text message.

“With the COVID-19 virus reproducti­on rate on the downtrend and [expected to] fall below 1 this month as per OCTA, we may expect a further easing of restrictio­ns going forward, thus local market rebounded on bargain hunting...,” Diversifie­d Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message.

Researcher­s from the OCTA Research group said in a televised briefing on Monday

that the COVID -19 reproducti­on rate in Metro Manila may drop to less than one by Sept. 13 to 14 from 1.47 currently.

On Wednesday, the Health department logged 14,216 new COVID-19 infections. Active cases stood at 140,949.

Interior Undersecre­tary Jonathan E. Malaya told a televised briefing on Wednesday that the shift to two-week granular lockdowns in high-risk areas is up “for final approval” of the government’s interagenc­y task force for the pandemic. These lockdowns will be limited to a building, street or barangay that record rising cases, officials earlier said.

Local government officials of Antipolo and Muntinlupa have already imposed granular lockdowns in their areas to curb the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, Metro Manila is under modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 7.

All sectoral indices posted gains on Thursday. Mining and oil surged 195.87 points or 2.10% to finish at 9,491.10; industrial­s went up by 90.56 points or 0.90% to 10,075.68; services climbed 15.74 points or 0.89% to 1,780.03; property gained 25.31 points or 0.83% to 3,068.07; holding firms improved by 40.16 points or 0.59% to end at 6,818.70; and financials inched up by 4.12 points or 0.28% to 1,441.67.

Value turnover dropped to P6.92 billion on Thursday with 1.52 billion issues switching hands, from the P8.82 billion with 2.02 billion issues traded on Wednesday.

Advancers beat decliners, 110 against 86, while 58 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling more than doubled to P69.83 million on Thursday from the P30.61 million seem the previous day.

Papa Securities’ Mr. Cruz said the market is on track to test the 7,000 resistance level in the near term. —

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