By JAMES A. LOYOLA
The market is seen to trade with a downward bias as investors continue to be glued to updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) from China.
“Markets have been rattled by the virus, so they will take their cues on how the disease has spread, or been contained,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.
Philstocks Financial Senior Research Analyst Japhet Tantiangco noted that, “Risks are still tilted to the downside amid the said epidemic together with the lingering regulatory worries. If the coronavirus would be contained, then we may see a rise in the market.”
However, he said that, “If the outbreak escalates in our country, we may see a further decline in the local market.”
Meanwhile, Limlingan said the local market will also be watching for January inflation figures and the Bangko Sentral announcement of interest rates this week.
“Given the 5.1 percent unemployment rate we have, which shows a tightening labor market, together with the inflation rate which they expect to pick up this past January, we think that the Monetary Authority would hold benchmark rates unchanged for now,” said Tantiangco.
Online brokerage firm 2Tradeasia said investors should “brace for further volatility from hereon, as markets digest developments on the nCoV side, and its accompanying economic repercussions.”
“Time and patience go hand-in-hand in these trying times but consider monitoring bargains whose cash flow models historically stand resilient,” it added.
Top online brokerage firm COL Financial has upgraded its recommendation on Universal Robina Corporation to a BUY because its “prospects are brighter this 2020 coming from an inflection point in 2019.”
“The recovery of the coffee business is underway starting with the successful launch of its new products. We are also more confident that management can revitalize URC’s other businesses under the leadership of the new management team,” it added.