Stocks rise, peso strengthens on lesser concerns on Omicron

MANILA – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained on Wednesday on lessened worries on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Omicron variant and the peso followed suit.

The main stocks index rose by 0.71 percent, or 50.13 points, to 7,091.40 points.

All Shares trailed with a jump of 0.43 percent, or 16.27 points, to 3,794.17 points.

Majority of the sectoral indexes also rose during the day, with the Services rising by 1.26 percent; Financials, 1.20 percent; Mining and Oil, 0.76 percent; and Holding Firms, 0.65 percent.

On the other hand, the Property and Industrial indexes moved sideways after a decline of 0.05 percent and 0.04 percent, respectively.

“Philippine shares closed in the green as Omicron concerns dissipated with many pointing that symptoms are milder vs. the Delta variant and the possibility of herd immunity,” said Luis Limlingan, Regina Capital Development Corporation (RCDC) head of sales.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said more studies are needed to determine the difference of Omicron compared to other variants.

Its officials said initial findings show that Omicron has milder symptoms compared to the other variants and affects the upper respiratory tract instead of the lungs like in the other variants.

Local Covid-19 reports show over 4,000 daily cases in recent days, a far cry from around a few hundreds in the past weeks.

The number of new coronavirus infections in the country surged to 10,775 on Wednesday.

Local health authorities expect further increases in the coming days as they get information regarding additional infections caused by the Omicron variant.

They, however, said Delta remains the dominant variant in the country.

Meanwhile, the local currency closed the day at 50.96 against the greenback, better than its 51.3 finish a day ago.

It opened the trade at 51.2 and ranged between 50.89 and 51.33.

Average level for the day stood at 51.108.

Volume totaled to USD1.21 billion, lower than the USD1.22 billion a day ago. (PNA)

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