By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX fell for the fifth straight session on Thursday on continued foreign outflows, with investors moving away from equities due to uncertainties in the US-China trade war.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plunged 1.34% or 101.55 points to close at 7,475.16 yesterday. This marks the benchmark index’s lowest level since Dec. 28 when the market ended at 7,466.02.

The broader all-shares index likewise retreated 0.96% or 45.31 points to 4,662.86.

“The market today breaks its 7500 psychological support and 200-day moving average support, this denotes the negative sentiment most especially of foreign investors on the global risk of equities sell-off worldwide,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in a text message on Thursday.

Investors continue to react on the trade war between the US and China, after both parties hiked tariffs last week. The US raised duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods starting last Friday, while China retaliated by imposing 25% tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods. The two countries, however, said they will continue trade negotiations.

Mr. Tan added that the trade war has caused investors to move away from the volatility in equities markets in favor of fixed income securities.

Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez also blamed the large foreign selling for the local market’s weakness.

“Net foreign selling plagued the index once again today as it fell 101.55 points. Net foreign selling amounted to P1.9 billion, while value turnover was significant at P8.6 billion,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail.

Thursday’s net foreign outflows were higher than the P1.16 billion seen in the previous session, marking the ninth straight day that investors were in selling mode.

In contrast, Wall Street indices were lifted by positive sentiment overnight as US President Donald J. Trump advanced on trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.45% or 115.97 points to 25,648.02. The S&P 500 index rose 0.58% or 16.55 points to 2,850.96, while the Nasdaq Composite index jumped 1.13% or 87.65 points to 7,822.15.

Back home, all sectoral indices ended in negative territory, led by industrials which plummeted 1.76% or 199.45 points to 11,090.97. Holding firms dropped 1.67% or 118.99 points to 6,995.45; services tumbled 1.39% or 22.56 points to 1,598.22; financials shed 1.04% or 17.63 points to 1,663.38; mining and oil slipped 0.97% or 71.91 points to 7,287.94, while property dipped 0.07% or 3.2 points to 4,073.27.

Some 2.33 billion issues valued at P8.56 billion switched hands, higher than the previous sessions’ P7.23 billion.

Decliners trumped advancers, 116 to 78, while 45 names were flat.