By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX retreated to the 8,000 level on Wednesday following another round of warnings from the United States against China on their trade deal, alongside expectations of the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plunged 1.28% or 104.66 points to close at 8,045.80 yesterday, while the broader all-shares index likewise dropped 0.93% or 46.02 points to 4,890.06.

“With most regional markets downed after Trump’s negative comments on the US-China trade negotiations, this cascaded to the local market with the start of Ghost month tomorrow wherein liquidity will further subside as most investors remain on the sidelines,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump said China has yet to start purchasing agricultural products from the US. He also said that should he get reelected next year and no deal with China has been signed, the terms of their trade agreement will be much tougher than what is currently being discussed.

The Chinese ghost month is also set to start on Aug. 1, where the public typically holds off on making investments.

Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez also noted in an e-mail that investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy decision.

“All eyes on the Fed meeting tonight however, as market movement for the next couple of days would likely be based on that,” Mr. Perez said on Wednesday.

The PSEi tracked negative sentiment across the world, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average slip 0.09% or 23.33 points to 27,198.02. The S&P 500 index dipped 0.26% or 7.79 points to 3,013.18, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.24% or 19.72 points to 8,273.61.

Back home, mining and oil was the lone counter in the green, adding 0.03% or 2.48 points to 7,885.78.

The rest went down, led by property which plummeted 2.31% or 100.46 points to 4,234.33. Index heavyweights SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc. pulled down the market as they were two of the most actively traded stocks yesterday, dropping 2.67% and 2.54%, respectively.

Industrials slumped 1.29% or 147.10 points to 11,252.52; holding firms tumbled 1.19% or 94.64 points to 7,844.36; financials lost 0.62% or 11.62 points to 1,842.49; while services went down 0.02% or 0.47 point to 1,644.35.

Some 2.07 billion issues valued at P7.45 billion changed hands, improving from the previous session’s P6.87 billion.

Decliners were double that of advancers, 137 to 68, while 45 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors turned net sellers at P465.49 million, against the previous session’s P631.12 million worth of net purchases.