Index gains anew on encouraging virus vaccine tests

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Share prices rallied anew yesterday on hopes that a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is already underway.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 6,364.08, up 154.37 points or 2.48 percent while the broader All Shares index rose 66.23 points or 1.81 percent to end at 3,716.98.

Most of the sectoral gauges went up except for mining and oil which slipped 0.52 percent.

Total value turnover reached P7.3 billion. Market breadth was positive with 132 advancers to 61 decliners, while 46 issues were unchanged.

“Hopes stemming from the positive trial result of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine candidate sent the local market together with its regional peers higher. The PSEi closed higher by 154.37 points or 2.48 percent at 6,364.08. Volume and value turnover posted 761.4 million and P7.3 billion respectively. Miners were the only losers shedding 0.52 percent. Advancers edged decliners 132 to 61,” Philstocks Financials said in a comment.

US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech said initial data on their vaccine showed encouraging results.

The companies said participants in a Phase 1/2 study of the vaccine, called BNT162b1, responded to the immunization and it was found to be well tolerated.

“These clinical findings for the BNT162b1 RNA-based vaccine candidate are encouraging and strongly support accelerated clinical development and at-risk manufacturing to maximize the opportunity for the rapid production of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease,” the researchers wrote in the pre-print paper, which was sponsored by BioNTech and designed by Pfizer.

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