Stock up after ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown avoided

Published July 29, 2021, 4:50 PM

by James A. Loyola

The local stock market paused from its slide following gains in the US and the announcement of quarantine measures that were less stringent than feared.

The PSEi gained 23.50 points or 0.36 percent to close at 6,496.53 with the Mining and Oil counter leading the advance of all sectors.

Volume improved but remained low at 925 million shares worth P4.82 billion as gainers outnumbered losers 109 to 70 with 54 unchanged.

“Philippine shares were bought up after U.S. Fed announced that interest rates would remain near zero,” said Regina Capital Development Corporation Managing Director Luis Limlingan.

“Furthermore, investors were calmed after it was announced that GCQ with heightened restrictions would just be extended in Metro Manila until August 15. The approval of the extension of the quarantine classification for the Metro wasn’t in line with the IATF and OCTA Research’s call for a circuit break amid the surge in Delta variant cases” he noted.

Philstocks Financial Senior Supervisor for Research Japhet Tantiangco said “The local market climbed on the back of bargain hunting. Investors also showed relief as the National Capital Region was kept under GCQ with heightened restrictions until August 15, rather than being reverted to a more stringent quarantine measure.“

AAA Equities Head of Research Chris Mangun said “Stock prices climbed higher after quarantine restrictions for the next two weeks were announced. Metro Manila remains under current restrictions despite the calls for stricter measures to curb the potential spike in cases, which most investors were also anticipating.”

However, he added that, “Prices did not move higher because of a surge in demand from optimistic investors, but rather due to the reduced selling pressure from panicking shareholders which have been driving the market lower over the last week.”

“Investors are still generally concerned that a stricter lockdown can be enforced in the next two weeks or even sooner if the health situation deteriorates rapidly,” Mangun warned.