MANILA – Concerns over the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-12) cases globally spooked investors, resulting in the weakening of both the Philippines’ main equities index and the peso on Thursday.
After a two-day rally, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) reversed its path and shed 9.71 percent, or 616.99 points, to 5,736.27 points.
In a report, BPI Research said the main index fell by as much as 10.3 percent mid-trade, “prompting the first trading halt in the local stock market since the 2008 global financial crisis.”
This, as Covid-19 cases rose to more than 118,000 in more than 110 countries and territories, which in turn, made the World Health Organization (WHO) declare a global pandemic.
Citing reports, BPI Research said the WHO has urged governments to step up containment efforts to avoid the risk of further global spread.
US President Donald Trump has ordered a 30-day restriction on most travels from Europe effective midnight on Friday (US time) to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 cases.
These factors resulted in risk-off sentiment among investors and negatively affected the domestic financial market.
All Shares declined by 8.30 percent, or 315.96 points, to 3,492.77 points.
Mining and Oil posted the highest decrease at 12.76 percent and was followed by Property, 10.82 percent; Financials, 10.12 percent; Holding Firms, 10.03 percent; Services, 7.11 percent; and Industrial, 6.34 percent.
Volume reached 981.13 million shares amounting to PHP7.96 billion.
Decliners surpassed advancers at 226 to 7, while 25 shares were unchanged.
The peso slipped to 50.85 against the US dollar from Wednesday’s 50.55 close.
It opened the day at 50.65, down from its 50.50 start in the previous session, and traded between 50.63 and 51.05, resulting in an average of 50.86.
Volume totaled USD1.38 billion, up from the previous session’s USD934 million.
The currency pair is projected to trade between 50.75 and 51.00 on Friday. (PNA)