PH stocks gauge contracts, peso stays firm vs. US dollar

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) started the year with losses as coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases globally rise anew but the Philippine peso keeps its footing against the greenback.

The main stocks index shed 1.14 percent, or 81.36 points, to 7,041.27 points.

All Shares slipped by 1.05 percent, or 40.22 points, to 3,777.90 points.

Most of the sectoral indexes also finished the day on the red, led by the Property, which fell by 2.90 percent.

It was trailed by the Financials, 1.58 percent; Services, 1.42 percent; Industrial, 0.83 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.06 percent.

Only the Mining and Oil gained during the day after it rose by 1.19 percent.

Volume was thin at 722.25 million shares amounting to PHP4.26 billion.

Decliners surpassed advancers at 141 to 66 while 40 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares started the first trading session in the red amid the recent spike in the daily Covid-19 cases seen across the globe, prompting investors to exit their positions,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales, said.

For one, new domestic Covid-19 cases reached 4,084 on Monday, lower than the previous day’s 4,600 but way higher than the few hundreds in recent weeks.

The rise in the number of infections in the country following the Christmas holiday prompted authorities to revert to Alert Level 3 the movement restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) from Jan. 3 to 15, 2021.

Under the said Alert Level, face-to-face classes, contact sports, funfairs, and operations of karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters are prohibited; interzonal and intrazonal travels are subject to “reasonable restrictions; and people aged 18 years old and those bellowing to the vulnerable population are allowed to go out of their houses to get essential goods and services and for work, among others.

On the other hand, the local currency finished the day at 51.00 to a US dollar, little changed from its 50.999 close last December 31.

It opened the trade at 50.97 and ranged between 51.00 and 50.95. The average level for the day stood at 50.989.

Volume totaled USD588.7 million, higher than the USD586.35 million in the previous session.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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