Shares fall on COVID jitters

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    Share prices ended lower Thursday as investors took to profit-taking amid risk aversion following reports of rising cases of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) overseas.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down 128.40 points to 6,249.39, a 2.01 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 55.21 points to 3,753.08, a 1.45 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 147 to 58 with 52 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P6.66 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.39 to the dollar, down from 48.375 on Wednesday.

    The currency opened at 48.43, hit a high of 48.38 and a low of 48.45. Trading turnover reached $524.15 million.

    “Local shares saw one of its worst sell-off in months amid rising COVID cases and jitters over the US election outcome. New lockdowns in Europe. France and Germany each shutdown bars and restaurants for a month, while French President Emmanuel Macron will also close non-essential retailers and other activities starting Friday (today),” said Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital and Development Corp.

    “(UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be forced in the same direction, as his scientific committee points to even more deaths in the second wave. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland reached new daily highs. Anthony Fauci chimed in to say vaccines won’t be available in the U.S. until January at the earliest,” Limlingan added.

    Most actively traded Dito CME Holdings Corp. was up P0.15 to P6.77. BDO Unibank Inc. was down P3 to P89. Converge Information and Communication Technology Solutions Inc. was up P1.24 to P15.16. Ayala Land Inc. was down P1.66 to P32.20. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was up P0.30 to P32.80. SM Investments Corp. was down P15 to P950. International Container Terminal Services Inc. was down P2.40 to P114.50. Ayala Corp. was down P15 to P745.