Shares rise after last-minute bargain hunting

PHILIPPINE shares closed higher on Tuesday on last-minute bargain hunting after trading in negative territory for most of the session as the country logged record coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections on Monday.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 68.82 points or 1.01% on Tuesday to close at 6,855.44, while the all shares index climbed 21.47 points or 0.51% to 4,225.58.

“Philippine shares climbed on the combination of window dressing and the latest MSCI rebalancing to bargain hunt at closing. In addition, sentiment got a boost as overseas equities edged higher on Monday led by tech stocks,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Last-minute buying sent the local market higher,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a separate Viber message. “For most of the day, however, the market was in the negative territory, plunging as low as 6,651.01. This came as investors priced in the wider economic losses brought by the extension of the strict quarantine measures in the National Capital Region and in other areas of the country. COVID-19 worries also weighed on sentiment amid the continuous surge in our daily new cases…”

Metro Manila and other areas will remain under modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 7, the Palace announced last week.

The Health department reported a record 22,366 infections on Monday, bringing the country’s tally to 1,976,202. Active cases stood at 148,594.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant variant in the Philippines.

Most sectoral indices posted gains on Tuesday except for financials, which shed 9.61 points or 0.66% to finish at 1,427.71.

Meanwhile, industrials rose 202.17 points or 2.05% to 10,049.93; holding firms climbed 114.92 points or 1.70% to 6,875.80; mining and oil went up by 99.54 points or 1.09% to close at 9,224.98; services gained 16.15 points or 0.91% to end at 1,773.61; and property inched up by 1.06 points or 0.03% to 3,094.98.

Value turnover surged to P14.85 billion on Tuesday with P2.92 billion issues switching hands from the P6.86 billion with 1.62 billion issues traded on Friday.

Decliners overwhelmed advancers, 120 against 65, while 55 names closed unchanged. Net foreign buying dropped to P306.96 million on Tuesday from P631.26 million on Friday.

“The attention of local players [will be] directed to the release of Markit PH PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) manufacturing [on Wednesday],” Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said.

The country’s PMI stood at 50.4 in July, slipping from the 50.8 reading in June but still above the 50 neutral mark that separates contraction from expansion. — K.C.G. Valmonte