Trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange is expected to remain volatile as the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 weighs on the market.
BDO Unibank Inc. chief investment strategies said the Philippine Stock Exchange Index will likely trade within the 7,000-7,200-point levels in the near-term because of the nervous stance of investors. A sustained fall below the 6,950 levels will call the bears to test the 6,500/6,800 marks.
Upcoming equity deals in the market, however, should provide investors some confidence on the market. Medilines Distributors Inc., a leading distributor of medical equipment in the country, is set to list as the Philippines’ first pure-play healthcare initial public offering on Tuesday, while Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp., a unit of Solar Philippines Power Holdings Inc., is scheduled to list its shares on December 17, 2021.
The PSEi last week ended lower by 3.1 percent to close at 7.055.19 on concerns about the new variant of the COVID-19. The broader All Shares Index also dropped 2.1 percent to 3,790
All sub-indices posted week-on-week declines led by holding firms (-3.46 percent), property (-3.24 percent), industrial (-2.96 percent) and services (1.92 percent).
The financials index slipped 1.8 percent while mining and oil index declined 1.3 percent.
Foreign investors were net sellers for the week by P1.8 billion, while the average daily value traded reached P14.6 billion from the previous week’s average of P8.8 billion.
Weekly top price gainers were Union Bank of Philippines, which jumped by 13 percent to P97.20 after the bank was reported to be the preferred bidder for the consumer and retail banking assets of American banking giant Citigroup Inc.
Other top gainers were Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions Inc., which rose 4.5 percent to P31.50, and DMCI Holdings Inc., which climbed 3.5 percent to P7.97.
Weekly top price losers were Cebu Air Inc., which declined 9.7 percent to P43.70; Jollibee Foods Corp., which dropped 8.5 percent to P223; and Ayala Corp., which fell 5.7 percent to P824.
Global stocks finished a volatile week on a downcast note Friday, sunk by festering worries over the Omicron variant and disappointment at the most recent US job growth figures.
The latest COVID-19 variant has been detected in 38 countries but no deaths have yet been reported, the WHO said, as authorities worldwide rushed to stem the spread of the heavily mutated COVID-19 strain.
“Investors are clearly still anxious about the Omicron variant, despite anecdotal evidence suggesting symptoms are less severe” than first thought, said Craig Erlam, analyst at Oanda trading group.
“Heading into the weekend, when we could get more information on the new strain, it’s natural that we’re seeing more caution.”
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned the latest virus strain could slow the global recovery, noting that “a new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence.”
Bourses in Paris, Frankfurt and London all declined. With AFP