Stocks fell Tuesday on profit taking as frighteningly high new COVID-19 case numbers and deaths around the world—and the resulting lockdowns—kept a cap on buying.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index shed 46.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,258.11 on a value turnover of P9.7 billion. Losers beat gainers, 144 to 86, with 40 issues unchanged.
AC Energy Philippines Inc. slumped 10 percent to P6.50 after the price adjusted following a stock rights offering, while Merry Mart Consumers Corp. dropped 5.7 percent to P7.27.
Dito CME Holdings Corp., the third major mobile phone firm, declined 5.7 percent to P11.96, while Metropolitan Bak & Trust Co., the second-biggest lender in terms of assets, fell 5 percent to P47.50.
The rest of Asian markets fluctuated Tuesday as hopes for the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and a new stimulus out of Washington competed with fears over surging infections, new lockdowns and brewing political and social unrest in the United States.
Analysts’ long-term outlook, however, remained positive as more people are inoculated and life returns to normal.
Wall Street’s three main indexes fell Monday, having ended last week at record highs, and Asian markets were mixed.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Jakarta all rose, while Shanghai finished at a five-year high, but Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Wellington fell.
Germany’s BioNTech provided some good news as it said it expected to produce two billion doses of its vaccine this year, up from the previous forecast of 1.3 billion, lifting hopes that more people could get the jab earlier.
That came as seven mass vaccination sites were opened across England, where a new strain of the disease is putting huge pressure on the National Health Service and forced leaders to ramp up economically painful containment measures.
The main focus of attention for traders is Washington, where Democrats are pushing ahead with a historic second impeachment of Donald Trump as they accuse him of inciting Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol Building that delayed lawmakers’ certification of Joe Biden’s election win.
Observers said the chances of Trump being convicted were slim but there was a concern that the latest moves could foment more unrest, with some reports saying the president’s supporters were planning fresh demonstrations at the weekend and during Biden’s inauguration next week.
There is a worry that the move by the Democrats could distract from their plans for a new, bigger stimulus bill to fight off the effects of the rampaging virus with some warning the row could overshadow the new president’s first few months in office.
Biden has called for a package in the trillions including $2,000 cash handouts, though analysts said that while markets would welcome a spending splurge, there were concerns about the financial implications.
Bets on another rescue deal have ramped up inflation expectations, with 10-year Treasury yields above one percent for the first time since March and talk swirling that the Federal Reserve could begin considering winding down its vast bond-buying scheme. With AFP