Stocks lose more ground

Published March 22, 2021, 4:56 PM

by James A. Loyola

The local stock market weakened further as government tightened lockdown measures amid the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases.

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The main index dropped 40.93 points or 0.64 percent to close at 6,395.17 with only the Services counter managing to advance a little.

Volume dropped to 2.48 billion shares worth P6.29 billion as losers swept gainers 172 to 53 with 33 steady.

“Philippine shares closed lower as investors assessed the impact of added restrictions on selected hot spots in order to contain the spread of the virus,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.

He added that sentiment from overseas also spilled over as US equities slid down, breaking its two-week win streak, after treasury yields jumped.

Philstocks Financial Senior Analyst Japhet Tantiangco said “Investors reacted negatively to the new restrictions as it further limits the productive capacity of our economy.“

AAA Equities Head of Research Chris Mangun said “The PSEi continued lower as the health crisis is perceived to be getting worse. The number of new cases on a daily basis, recorded over the last three days, has surpassed the daily rate that we had at the height of the pandemic last year.”

“The general sentiment remains fearful, evident in the rush of selling at the beginning of the trading session. Prices recovered after the initial sell off as some investors were more willing to come in and buy shares at the lower prices as compared to last week,” he added  Mangun noted that, “This may be due to the government’s commitment to the targeted lockdowns rather than shutting the economy down as a whole.”

We may see this panic selling continue as cases continue to pick up. The PSEi’s current support is at 6,200 which it may test in the coming days.