Local stocks rise as investors monitor inflation, COVID-19 cases

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
Local stocks rise as investors monitor inflation, COVID-19 cases
This undated file photo shows the Philippine Stock Exchange building in Taguig City.
Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — Local shares inched up on Monday as investors await the November inflation data and as the country’s coronavirus cases remain low despite the emergence of heavily mutated Omicron variant abroad.

There was strong buying pressure at the start of the week, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) up 1.07% to close at 7,130.74. The PSE on Monday resumed its pre-pandemic trading hours, as easing restrictions help the local bourse operator adjust to the difficult operating environment created by the health crisis.

Likewise, the broader All Shares index finished in positive territory, nudging up 0.58%. Among the sectoral counters, only the mining and oil sub-index posted losses after shedding 1.31%.

For Luis Limlingan, head of sales at local brokerage Regina Capital, investors were shopping ahead of the release of November inflation data on Tuesday. Investors were also happy on the continued downtrend of coronavirus cases in the country despite the discovery of Omicron variant, which is feared to be more infectious than previous strains.

No cases of the Omicron variant has been detected locally as of press time.

“Philippine shares were bought ahead of the inflation release, and as the country remained free of any Omicron cases for now,” Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“Tomorrow the November CPI (consumer price index) will be released, and many are expecting this to fall below 4.0% which is within the acceptable range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as well,” he added.

Regional equity markets were mixed at the start of weekly trading as the Omicron variant and dismal US jobs data loomed largely on traders’ minds. Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai closed lower. Shares in Seoul and Sydney inched up.

At home, net foreign selling amounted to P269.5 million. A total of 1.32 billion shares, valued at P6.55 billion, were traded on Monday. — with AFP

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