Shares rise on foreign buying, vaccine supply

PHILIPPINE shares continued to climb on Wednesday driven by higher foreign buying and as market sentiment got a boost from the expected arrival of more coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in the country.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 143.33 points or 2.15% to close at 6,822.15 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index rose 53.63 points or 1.29% to finish at 4,198.51.

“The trading month of August is looking less of a ghost month with foreigners buying up the choppy market’s likely approach to 7,000 on the back of more vaccine supply enabling inoculation goals in Metro Manila to be within striking distance,” First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message.

Net foreign buying climbed to P814.59 million on Wednesday from the P291.11 million seen on Tuesday.

Around five million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Inc. and BioNTech SE, AstraZeneca Plc, and Sinovac Biotech Ltd., are set to arrive this week after three countries pledged to donate to the Philippines.

This is on top of over three million COVID-19 vaccine jabs expected to arrive by the end of the month, which were purchased by the government from Pfizer and BioNTech and Sinovac.

The Philippines has so far administered over 30.69 million COVID-19 jabs, with 13.2 million or 12.21% of the country’s population fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said the US Food and Drug Administration’s move to give its full approval for the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech continued to boost market sentiment.

“Investors continued to buy Philippine shares, [feeding] off news that Pfizer and BioNTech secured a full US regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. The development is still fueling the US benchmarks, lifting the Dow by 0.09% and the S&P 500 by 0.15% last night,” Mr. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message.

“Investors are also eager to hear US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech during the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday, where he’ll tackle what’s next for the Fed’s bond-buying program,” he added.

Back home, the majority of sectoral indices posted gains on Wednesday except for mining and oil, which declined by 11.35 points or 0.12% to 9,188.26.

Meanwhile, services gained 57.89 points or 3.50% to 1,708.57; property climbed 73.99 points or 2.40% to 3,147.38; holding firms rose 158.52 points or 2.37% to close at 6,837.41; industrials went up by 58.03 points or 0.59% to 9,865.28; and financials improved by 3.67 points or 0.25% to 1,444.26.

Value turnover increased to P6.48 billion with 1.8 billion issues switching hands on Wednesday, from the P5.53 billion with 2.68 billion shares traded on Tuesday.

Advancers narrowly outnumbered decliners, 95 versus 93, while 51 names closed unchanged. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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