Stocks down again; Puregold up

The stock market fell slightly Tuesday in lackluster trading, as investors cautiously weigh government’s plan to ease further the lockdown on some areas in the country.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 15.04 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,894.28 on a value turnover of P4.6 billion. Losers beat gainers, 105 to 86, with 46 issues unchanged.

“There will be areas with zero transmission [of COVID-19] in the past month that may be declared under the regime of new normal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a Palace briefing Monday. He said it would mean a new classification aside from the modified general community quarantine.

NOW Corp., owned by the Velarde family, slumped 8.4 percent to P3.28 on profit taking after jumping nearly 50 percent Monday. NOW secured a permit from the government to operate as the country’s fourth major mobile phone operator. Dito CME Holdings Corp., the country’s third major telecom company, dropped 3.2 percent to P3.99.

Puregold Price Club Inc. of retail tycoon Lucio Co., however, rose 3 percent to P48.60, while Megawide Construction Corp. climbed 2.7 percent to P7.70. Megawide and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd. of Korea bagged the P28-billion contract from the Department of Transportation to build the Malolos-Clark Railway Project Package 1.

The rest of Asian markets Tuesday extended the previous day’s losses following another rout in New York and Europe as governments impose new containment measures to fight off a second wave of virus infections.

Wall Street tumbled, though all three main indexes managed to end off their lows thanks to bargain-buying. The selling continued into Asia, but the losses were shallower.

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei and Jakarta fell at least one percent each, while Seoul tumbled more than two percent. Sydney, Singapore and Bangkok were also well in the red.

Dimming hopes for a new US stimulus added to the downbeat mood with Capitol Hill hostilities stoked by the death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while a top White House adviser questioned whether more fiscal help was even needed.

After months of economic recovery helped by an improvement in infection and death rates, there is a worry that the coming northern hemisphere winter—which experts say could help the disease spread—will see a return to strict stay-at-home rules.

With new spikes around the world, authorities are being forced to act, while former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned the US may experience “at least one more cycle” of the virus in autumn and winter.

Madrid has already put 850,000 residents under lockdown, while new rules to come into force on Thursday will see English pubs, bars and other hospitality venues required to close at 10 p.m., and food and drink outlets restricted to table service only.

Similar restrictions are already in place across swathes of northern and central England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to unveil their own rules imminently.

The prospect of more financially damaging measures being put in place has spooked investors. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi , Global stock market , COVID-19 , Puregold Price Club Inc.
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