Stocks, peso weaken on Covid-19, US-China concerns

Stocks, peso weaken on Covid-19, US-China concerns

MANILA – Concerns on the progress of studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines ended the Philippine Stock Exchange index’ (PSEi) four-day rally Wednesday, while the peso weakened against the US dollar.

After rising to the 6,000-level a day ago, the main equities index shed 1.68 percent, or 101.19 points, to 5,932.84 points.

This finish was tracked by all the other counters, with All Shares down by 1.17 percent, or 42.02 points, to 3,562.56 points.

Property registered the biggest drop with 2.82 percent and was trailed by Financials, 1.89 percent; Mining and Oil, 1.28 percent; Holding Firms, 1.19 percent; Services,0.84 percent; and Industrial, 0.77 percent.

Volume was low at 838.18 million shares amounting to PHP5.10 billion.

Losers surpassed gainers at 118 to 73, while 48 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares fell as concerns arose regarding the progress on the development of one of the vaccine candidates,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation head of sales, said.

News reports said AstraZeneca suspended the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate after one of the trial participants developed an unexplained illness.

Aside from this report, Limlingan said another correction in the Nasdaq composite index affected the S&P 500, which posted its worst three-day drop in months.

Other risk-off factors are the US-China tension and the drop in the international prices of oil to its lowest since last June due to demand issues because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the local currency finished the day at 48.66 from 48.56 a day ago.

It opened the day little changed at 48.63 from 48.65 start in the previous day.

It traded between 48.66 and 48.585, resulting in an average of 48.615.

Volume totaled to USD584.9 million, lower than the previous day’s USD687.37 million. (PNA)

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