PSEi rises on vaccine arrivals, lower infections

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SHARES climbed on Monday on the arrival of more coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine doses over the weekend and as the country continued to report lower infections.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 37.29 points or 0.53% to close at 6,960.89 on Monday, while the broader all shares index gained 21.68 points or 0.50% to end at 4,348.19.

“The PSEi continued to gain today… amid increased COVID-19 vaccine arrivals over the weekend,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message on Monday.

“New local COVID-19 cases already eased to among one-month lows, all of which could support or justify further easing of restrictions and further reopening of the economy,” he added.

On Sunday, the country logged 13,273 new infections, which brought active COVID-19 cases in the country to 112,008. The national tally stood at 2,593,399.

The Philippines received some 1.81 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc. through the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility. The country expects to receive 10 million more doses in the coming weeks.

“Philippine shares were traded higher as investors sought refuge from regions being sold down due to the Evergande debacle,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message.

Asian shares dipped on Monday as concerns about China’s property sector and inflation worries offset upbeat US data and positive news on new drugs to fight the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Trading in shares of debt-laden China Evergrande was suspended pending an announcement about a major transaction. That comes a few days after the distressed developer missed a key interest payment on its offshore debt obligation for the second time.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1%.

Back home, all sectoral indices closed higher on Monday except for industrials, which lost 31.72 points or 0.30% to end at 10,268.62.

Meanwhile, mining and oil climbed 193.58 points or 2.06% to 9,591.13; holding firms went up by 92.95 points or 1.34% to 6,987.23; property improved by 15.61 points or 0.52% to 3,005.49; financials inched up by 7.43 points or 0.52% to 1,419.88; and services gained 2.69 points or 0.13% to 1,951.69.

Value turnover dropped to P5.89 billion with 955.46 million issues traded on Monday, down from the P21.99 billion with 2.32 billion shares that switched hands on Friday.

Advancers and decliners were tied at 93 each, while 55 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned sellers anew on Monday, logging P336.54 million in net outflows versus the P2.84 billion in net purchases seen on Friday.

Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said the market is awaiting key economic data for leads.

RCBC’s Mr. Ricafort placed the PSEi’s resistance at 7,000 to 7,100 and its immediate support at the 6,700 to 6,800 levels. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte with Reuters