Stock market likely to drop this week

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Share prices are expected to move on a downward trend this week on the possibility that Metro Manila could be placed at an even higher quarantine restrictions due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over the weekend raised the possibility of raising the quarantine status of the National Capital Region to Alert Level 4 as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

BDO Unibank Inc. chief investment strategist Jonathan Ravelas said while the Philippine Stock Exchange Index index could consolidate between 7,000 points and 7,300 points, a sustained drop below 7,000 would signal further decline to the 6,500 to 6,800 level.

First Metro Investments Corp., however, still expects the stock market to trade higher this year despite the threat of Omicron on the gross domestic product growth.

“Nonetheless, we expect PSEi to continue on an upward trend in 2022, with the expected fast GDP growth in 2022 (boosted by May Presidential elections), aided by robust consumer spending (as mall traffic surged in preparation for the Christmas season celebrations),” said FMIC in a report.

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The 30-company PSEi dropped last week fell 1.6 percent to 7.011.11 after Metro Manila and other areas were placed under Alert level 3.

Except for the holding firms which rose 0.6 percent, all other sub-indices ended on a negative.

Property decreased 4.7 percent; industrial declined 2.8 percent; services went down by 2.2 percent; financials down 1.5 percent ; and mining and oil slipped 0.80 percent.

Foreign investors were net sellers for the week by P345 million, while the average daily value traded reached P5.5 billion from the previous week’s average of P4.89 billion.

Weekly top price gainers were Semirara Mining and Power Corp., which rose 10.7 percent to P23.65, JG Summit Holdings Inc., which jumped by 7.5 percent to P56.20 and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., which climbed 4.1 percent to P56.70.

Weekly top price losers were AC Energy Corp., which sank 15.2 percent to P9.33, Security Bank Corp., which declined 12.5 percent to P104.10, and Union Bank Corp., which fell 8.8 percent to P90.70.

Stocks, meanwhile, mostly fell Friday on both sides of the Atlantic after data showed that the US economy added far fewer jobs than expected last month and eurozone inflation hit a record high.

London’s FTSE 100 index bucked the trend, ending the day 0.5  percent higher, but Paris and Frankfurt slid.

On Wall Street, the Dow treaded water, but both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined to conclude a down week for US stocks.

Asia faced a mixed trading session after another round of losses on Wall Street on Thursday as investors continued to mull signals by the US Federal Reserve that it was ready to tighten monetary policy more quickly to combat spiking inflation.

The dollar  dipped, while oil  pulled back modestly after days of strong gains.

Government data showed that the US economy added only 199,000 jobs in December. 

While that was less than half of what analysts expected, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, wages rose strongly and participation in the labor force held steady, indicating the job market remains tight. With AFP

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