By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
SHARES fell on Wednesday as the Philippine peso posted its lowest finish against the greenback in 13 years, alongside escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 0.91% or 68.81 points to 7,449.20, marking its sixth straight day of decline. The broader all-shares index also went down 0.43% or 20.12 points to 4,577.16.
“The peso breaking out of its psychological 54 resistance level (i.e. peso depreciation) to make an intraday high of 54.153 may have had a hand in today’s weakness,” Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Wednesday.
The peso closed at P54.13 versus the US dollar on Wednesday, 19 centavos weaker than the P53.94 posted in the previous session. This marks the local currency’s lowest close since December 2005.
Meanwhile, Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan pointed to the renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.
“Philippine shares closed lower once more, mostly on renewed trade tension as China lodged permission with WTO (World Trade Organization) to levy tariff on the US and crude oil rising on hurricane and EIA WTI (US Energy Information Administration West Texas Intermediate) outlook,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile message.
China said it is asking the WTO to impose sanctions on the US for the latter’s imposition of new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Chinese government is set to bring up its complaint to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body on Sept. 21.
Four sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by industrials which plunged 1.75% or 196.76 points to 11,031.23. Financials followed with a drop of 1.42% or 24.08 points to 1,668.84; holding firms slowed down 1.11% or 82.11 points to 7,314.30; while property shed 0.16% or 6.28 points to 3,722.62.
The mining and oil counter gained 1.45% or 137.53 points to 9,584.99, while services firmed up 0.30% or 4.61 points to 1,514.93.
Turnover climbed to P5.67 billion after some 1.17 billion issues switched hands, compared to the previous session’s P5.40 billion. Decliners outpaced advancers, 101 to 83, while 56 names were unchanged.
Net foreign outflows widened to P886.62 million on Wednesday, compared to Tuesday’s P577.03 million.
“Given that the PSEi closed today at its intraday low, and also below the 7,460-7,500 support area, watch out for further downside movement given its current momentum and the ever-present net foreign selling,” Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez said on Wednesday.
Asian indices also closed mostly in the red on Tuesday following the escalating trade tensions.