Listless stock market trading seen


Stocks are expected to trade sluggishly this week as investors opt to stay on the sidelines amid rising COVID-19 cases and the slow vaccine rollout.

Analysts said investment sentiments have been dampened by the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country due to the loose implementation of minimum health standards and the spread of more transmissible COVID-19 variants.

“Although we think that the Philippine economy could show some bounce in the first quarter 2021 and that volatility will stalk the local market for most of first half of 2021, we have guarded optimism looking forward,” First Metro Investments Corp. said.

“We hope PSEi may emulate the upswing in East Asian (especially China and South Korea) economies and equities markets in January, in which ASEAN, U.S., and EU stock markets floundered. However, economic activity should accelerate as we see more quarantine restrictions/health certifications eased and/or more unified and more massive roll out of COVID-19 vaccines,” it added.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index is expected to trade between 6,700 and 6,850 points this week, although a break below 6,700 could trigger tests toward the 6,300-6,500 levels.

The PSEi last week plunged 2.2 percent to 6,728.55, while the broader All Shares Index declined 2.4 percent to 4,059.58

All counters ended in red led by financial (-4.56 percent), property (-2.86 percent) and industrial (-2.24 percent).

Net selling by foreign investors rose to P12.5 billion from P3.1 billion in the previous week.

The average daily value traded also fell to P11 billion from the previous week’s average of P13.4 billion.

Weekly to price gainers included Cebu Air Inc., which rose 3.3 percent to P46.50, Filinvest Land Inc. which climbed 1.7. percent to P1.18, and Emperador Inc., which added 1.2 percent to P10.30.

Weekly top losers were DITO CME Holdings Inc., which declined 25.3 percent to P11.38, MerryMart Consumer Corp., which sank 15.2 percent to P5.19, and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Inc., which dropped 11.8 percent to P3.51.

Meanwhile, US and European stocks had   a mixed finish on Friday, capping a week that saw equities set new records on both sides of the Atlantic but also struggle with inflation fears.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 gained as a weaker pound helped take the sting out of data showing Britain’s economy tanked amid the latest COVID-19 lockdown, and post-Brexit exports to the EU plunged.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30, which has streaked to fresh highs repeatedly this week, gave up gains made the previous day after the European Central Bank boosted sentiment by promising more support for the economy if needed.

The Dow and S&P 500 managed to edge to new records for the second day straight   day in New York trading, but rising bond yields amid fears of oncoming inflation kept investors away from tech stocks, sending the Nasdaq down 0.6 percent at the close.

“There is a tug of war in the market regarding where inflation will settle,” Quincy Krosby of Prudential Financial said.  With AFP

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