Stocks fall as COVID-19 cases rise

Published March 8, 2021, 4:15 PM

by James A. Loyola

The local stock market fell as the number of new COVID cases surged while foreign investors shift funds to the US.

The PSEi plunged 125.45 points or 1.81 percent to close at 6,756.92 as bank stocks led the drop across the board.

A total of 7.2 billion shares worth P9.85 billion changed hands as losers swamped gainers 201 to only 38 with 29 unchanged.

“Local shares faltered as investors returned to the US market on the back of better-than-expected jobs report and the passing of another relief bill in the Senate–boosting hopes for a swift economic recovery,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.

Philstocks Financial Senior Analyst Japhet Tantiangco said “Pandemic concerns dragged the local market amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with daily additions exceeding 3,000 consecutively for the past 3 days.“ He noted that, “Worries over the outlook resurfaced as the OCTA Research Group projects daily new cases to reach 5,000 to 6,000 by end of March 2021.”

AAA Equities Head of Research Chris Mangun said “The stock market took a beating today as fears of losing control of the pandemic situation, sent investors running for the exits.“

He added that, “Selling pressure was minimal at the beginning of the trading session as investors were trying to get a feel of the sentiment. No one wanted to be the first to unload shares as the recent spike in new cases may be temporary and the market may still recover. However, selling pressure kept picking up drawing more and more investors into the sell-off.”