By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX failed to recover on Thursday as investors continued to react to developments outside the country.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 13.76 points or 0.17% to close at 7,933.71 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index gave up 6.16 points or 0.12% to 4,757.73.

“The local market is still weighed down by offshore worries,” Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco of Philstocks Financial, Inc. said in a text message.

“Primary concern right now is the alleged impasse on the US-China negotiations which could deter the Phase 1 deal. At the same time, you have China’s economic slowdown as seen on its latest investment and industrial output data. The slowdown is feared to spill over to its neighboring countries including the Philippines,” Mr. Tantangco added.

For his part, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said the lower close of the PSEi is due to the testimony of US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the public hearing on US President Donald Trump’s impeachment case.

On Wednesday, Mr. Powell went against Mr. Trump’s appetite for negative interest rates, saying in a speech in a Congress hearing that the current state of the monetary policy is more appropriate for the US economy now.

Wall Street ended mixed on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92.1 points or 0.33% to 27,783.59; the S&P 500 gained 2.2 points or 0.07% to 3,094.04; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.99 points or 0.05% to 8,482.10.

Meanwhile, most Asian markets declined on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices declined 0.76% and 0.94%, respectively, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.93% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gave up 0.23%. Some markets gained, such as China’s Shanghai SE Composite index (0.16%) and South Korea’s KOSPI index (0.79%).

Back home, two sectoral indices advanced on Thursday: property by 12.02 points or 0.29% to 4,138.43 and financials by 1.16 points or 0.06% to 1,908.22.

Meanwhile, industrials lost 180.31 points or 1.75% to end at 10,121.17; holding firms erased 9.33 points or 0.11% to 7,823.42; services went down 0.53 points or 0.03% to 1,547.89; and mining and oil shed 2.02 points or 0.02% to close the session at 8,909.50.

Value turnover declined further to P4.18 billion from P4.63 billion on Wednesday, with 655.29 million issues changing hands.

Stocks that lost outpaced those that gained, 107 against 78, while 55 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained bearish on Thursday, although net selling declined to P496.57 million from P720.69 million on Wednesday. — with Reuters