PHL stocks rebound as investors pick up bargains

PHILIPPINE shares posted gains on Monday as investors went bargain hunting after three days of decline.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 11.31 points or 0.17% to close at 6,389.38 on Monday, while the all shares index inched up by 3.09 points or 0.07% to finish at 3,930.28.

“The market reversed earlier losses on last-minute buying, snapping its three-day [loss] streak,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Junior Equity Analyst Lance U. Soledad said in a Viber message.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco noted that trading “remained anemic.”

“Many investors stayed outside of the market amid the lingering uncertainties,” he said in a separate Viber message. “In particular, investors are waiting for the government’s decision on the country’s quarantine measures after April 30.”

Value turnover inched down to P5.42 billion on Monday with 4.51 billion shares switching hands from the P5.87 billion with 2.04 billion issues logged on Friday.

The National Capital Region and nearby provinces have been under strict lockdown measures for over a month, and the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) task force is set to announce new quarantine restrictions this week. Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, presidential spokesperson, said on Sunday that the task force will decide “on the basis of science and hard data.”

“A catalyst for this week is the government’s decision on the new quarantine classification for May,” AB Capital Securities’ Mr. Soledad said.

The Health department on Monday reported 8,929 new infections, bringing the country’s tally to 1,006,428. Active COVID-19 cases stood at 74,623.

US drugmaker Moderna, Inc. on Monday filed an application for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines, Food and Drug Administration chief Rolando Enrique Domingo told reporters, Reuters reported.

The Philippines expects the delivery of 194,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine in May, and another one million shots in July.

The Philippines, which is battling one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, has so far approved the emergency use of six vaccines in the country.

Majority of sectoral indices closed in the green on Monday, except for industrials, which declined by 0.17% or 14.94 points to 8,605.83; and holding firms, which lost 0.1% or 6.92 points to end at 6,441.63.

Meanwhile, mining and oil increased by 3.8% or 331.71 points to 9,059.48; financials went up by 1.12% or 15.63 points to 1,399.65; property improved by 0.29% or 9.10 points to close at 3,117.61; and services gained 0.01% or 0.14 points to close at 1,436.13.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 116 versus 87, while 42 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling fell to P700.13 million on Monday from P1.31 billion seen in the previous trading day. — K.C.G. Valmonte with Reuters