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PSEi, peso feel the pinch from Covid Delta variant

Local shares weakened further yesterday due to the 16 new infections caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019, but the peso managed to end sideways against the greenback.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 0.51 percent, or 34.1 points, to 6,693.83 points.

All Shares went down by 1.08 percent, or 45.08 points, to 4,137.94 points.

Most of the sectoral indices also lost during the day. These were the Mining and Oil, 2.34 percent; Holding Firms, 1.64 percent; Industrial, 1.23 percent; Financials, 0.09 percent; and Property, 0.06 percent.

Only the Services index ended in the positive territory after moving sideways by 0.003 percent.

Volume reached 2.4 billion shares, amounting to P7.6 billion.

Losers led gainers at 164 to 48, while 34 shares were unchanged.

“Philippine shares slumped as many watched vigilantly the number of Covid cases from the new Delta strain,” Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales, said.

The Department of Health reported yesterday local transmissions of the Delta variant involving 11 cases, while five were overseas Filipino workers, some of whom came from the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

Of the 11 local transmissions, six carriers are from Northern Mindanao, two from the National Capital Region, two from Western Visayas, and one from Central Luzon.

Meanwhile, the peso ended the week at 50.235 from its close of 50.22 the previous day.

It opened the day at 50.2 and traded between 50.25 and 50.15, averaging at 50.203.

Volume reached USD841.6 million, lower than the previous session’s USD1.41 billion.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said the US dollar has been generally strong in recent days, given the hawkish signal from the Federal Reserve.

He said the peso is also affected by concerns over the Delta variant, which is the cause of upticks in several Asian countries.

He added the 50-level is the local currency’s major resistance since the pandemic.

Ricafort forecast the local unit’s minor support at 49.35 to 49.75 while immediate support is between 48.70 and 49.*PNA

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