Market moves sideways as virus concerns linger
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - February 19, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Share prices moved sideways yesterday as investors continue to stay on the sidelines amid unresolved concern over the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), finished at 7,322.89, down  by just 3.96 points or 0.05 percent while the broader All Shares index ended almost flat at 4,340.98, slightly up by 2.28 points or 0.05 percent.

The sectoral gauges were a mixed bag with financials, industrial and holding firms in the red, while services, mining and oil and property gauges ended higher.

Total value turnover reached P5.3 billion. Market breadth was negative with 101 decliners to 86 gainers while 45 issues were unchanged.

“The local market’s sideways movement ended in the red as the COVID-19 worries overshadowed 2019 corporate earnings...The global epidemic was also a concern among the rest of the Asian markets, with cases and deaths climbing to 72,436 and 1,868, respectively,” a trader said.

He said market investors continue to wait for the virus epidemic to be resolved and for strong catalysts to come up.

Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said while the market is down, investors can still look for bargains if they have the extra cash.

Foreign funds flowed into the market slightly with a net buying of P187.65 million.

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