The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) took another beating on Thursday, falling by almost 10% from its record high last January, tracking regional markets as the United States saw weaker retail sales data.

The main index plunged 1.9% or 158.73 points to finish at 8,190.01 on Thursday, March 15, while the broader all-shares index also dropped 1.38% or 69.41 points to 4,966.44.

Thursday’s close puts the index 9.58% below its all-time high record of 9,058.62 last January 29.

“The main factor was that the US market was down substantially last night because of the unexpected retail sales, it was below the estimate,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equities trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a phone interview.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan noted the same, adding that trade war concerns also continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

“Philippine markets continued their slump as Wall Street posted sizable losses once more, with trade war concerns being at the center once again of attention. Much of the protectionist concern stemmed not only from the actions taken so far, but the prospect of further action, directed specifically at China,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

“Also the inflationary pressures that were caused by tax reform, next week we’ll see if the BSP will adopt any change in the interest rate, considering inflation rate was beyond the range of 2-4%, based on 2006 base,” Mr. Pangan said, noting that inflation was still on the higher end of the government’s target despite adjusting the base to 2012.

The mining and oil sector was the lone sub-index that ended in positive territory, adding 0.06% to 11,403.05. The rest declined, led by property which shed 2.8% or 105.35 points to 3,654.56. Holding firms sunk 1.89% or 158.32 points to 8,202.05; industrial dipped 1.47% or 170.55 points to 11,420.04; financials slipped 1.21% to 2,144.48; while services were down 0.52% or 9.08 points to 1,724.19. — Arra B. Francia