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Stocks rise on curfew lifting, Fed taper timeline

PHILIPPINE SHARES extended their climb on Thursday after the removal of curfew hours in Metro Manila, which were implemented for over a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved by 19 points or 0.26% to close at 7,203.72 on Thursday, while the all shares index inched up by 4.08 points or 0.09% to 4,437.17.

“The continuous decline in our COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases, and the lifting of curfew in the National Capital Region which is expected to augment economic activities lifted sentiment. Wall Street’s continuous rally towards record highs also helped in Thursday’s session,” Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, senior research and engagement supervisor at Philstocks Financial, Inc., said in a Viber message.

Metro Manila had implemented curfew hours for over a year and a half to limit mobility in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. These were lifted beginning on Thursday, Nov. 4.

The Health department reported 1,591 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing the total active cases to 38,014. The Philippines has reported over 2.79 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

“The index sustained solid gains with more index heavyweights reporting earnings,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message, adding that the US Federal Reserve’s announcement on the reduction of its monthly bond purchases also contributed to market sentiment.

The Fed, as widely expected, announced on Wednesday that it would begin reducing its $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $15 billion per month, with a plan to end the purchases altogether in mid-2022, Reuters reported.

“Selling pressures were noticed however with the market dropping to an intraday low of 7,176.64, down by 0.11% from the preceding day. Trading was quite active,” Philstocks Financial’s Mr. Tantiangco added.

Value turnover went up to P7.68 billion with 4.69 billion shares switching hands on Thursday, inching higher from the P7.52 billion with 2.33 billion issues traded the previous day.

All sectoral indices closed in the green on Thursday led by mining and oil, which went up by 83.02 points or 0.84% to finish at 9,916.99. Industrials gained 61.59 points or 0.57% to 10,779.16; services picked up 5.43 points or 0.28% to 1,903.75; financials increased by 1.94 points or 0.12% to 1,579.61; property climbed 3.80 points or 0.11% to finish at 3,242.24; and holding firms inched up by 0.75 point or 0.01% to 7,058.58.

Decliners outperformed advancers, 123 against 80, while 42 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers on Thursday, logging P371.99 million in net purchases versus the P23.75 million in net outflows recorded on Wednesday. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte with Reuters

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