The Philippine Stock Market continues to fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This was triggered mostly by investors from the West. Last October 21, the US and UK stock markets experienced a drastic tumble over fears that the steady increase in coronavirus cases will dampen economic prospects.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) concluded at 5,999.40 on October 2, incurring a 0.92 percent increase, or 55 points. The last time the PSEi surpassed the 6,000 mark was last September 15 when it hit 6,018.21, with the rest of the month characterized by fluctuating figures.
As of October 2, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed at 23,029.90 from its previous figure at 23,185.12, reflecting a deficit of 0.67 percent, or 155.22 points—partly a result of Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he and the First Lady have contracted the coronavirus. Korea, Hong Kong, and China’s markets were closed for holidays. On September 29, Korea’s KOSPI increased by 0.86 percent (19.81 points) from 2,308.08 to 2,327.89. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped to 23,459.05 from 23,275.53, indicating a 0.79 percent increase (183.52) last September 30. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dropped by 0.20 percent, or 6.31 points, to 3,218.05 from 3,224.36.
For reference, the global stock market crashed last March 2020. On March 16, “the S&P 500 reported its steepest drop since 1987 as many businesses were forced to shut down and travel restrictions were set in place.” Last March 19, the PSEi tumbled to 4,309.15, marking its historic 52-week low for this year. Nikkei 225’s was at 16,358.19. KOSPI hit 1,439.43. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng reached 21,139.26. Lastly, Shanghai’s Stock Exchange dropped to 2,646.80. All of these are for the date of March 19, a period when the UK Pound Sterling fell to a 35-year low against the U.S. dollar, and when oil prices fell to an 18 year low. Moreover, on that day the Dow fell over 6.29 percent (1,300 points), the S&P 500 lost over 5%, and the Nasdaq lost 4.7%, all of which are benchmark stocks based in the U.S.
In the Philippine context, growth will be heavily dependent on how consumer spending will turn out as investors look to recover their losses this year. The last three months that form the country’s holiday season make up 28 percent of the year’s annual personal spending, while household spending makes up 70% of the economy. With this, it only makes sense for investors to look forward to the last quarter as their bailout from 2020’s turbulence.