By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

LOCAL STOCKS failed to hold on to gains on Thursday as investors were worried about the impeachment of US President Donald Trump.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 79.73 points or 1.03% to close at 7,653.94 on Thursday. The broader all shares index likewise trimmed 29.14 points or 0.63% to 4,558.85.

“Without any impetus, the local bourse gave up its 7,700 support line today, going down to 7,653.94. Investors can’t find any reasons to stay in the market for now,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a text message Thursday.

He noted foreign fund outflows also increased yesterday, with net foreign selling growing to P2.05 billion from P1.06 billion on Wednesday.

For Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, the market’s decline came as “many (kept) an eye on the impeachment of US President Trump.”

The US House of Representatives decided on Thursday to impeach Mr. Trump on the grounds of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. This makes him the third president to be impeached in America’s history, following Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

The decision on Mr. Trump’s impeachment will still be subjected to a trial by the US Senate, which previously decided to acquit both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton.

US stocks traded mostly flat on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 indices slipped 0.10% and 0.04%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite index bumped up 0.05%.

In Asia Pacific, markets were mixed on Thursday: Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices lost 0.29% and 0.13%, respectively; Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index gave up 0.27%; China’s Shanghai SE Composite index was flat; and South Korea’s Kospi index inched up 0.08%.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower on Thursday as investors booked profits ahead of holiday season and as a lack of clarity over the interim Sino-US deal and prospects of a hard Brexit weighed.

Back home, all sectoral indices ended in the red. Industrials lost 110.07 points or 1.14% to 9,498.32; holding firms declined 90.09 points or 1.20% to 7,409.59; financials shed 18.43 points or 1% to 1,811.96; mining and oil fell 25.93 points or 0.34% to 7,485.09; property went down 11.09 points or 0.27% to 4,087.80; and services slipped 1.49 points or 0.09% to 1,532.94.

Value turnover on Thursday stood at P12.60 billion with 591.79 issues changing hands from Wednesday’s P7.80 billion with 1.49 billion issues.

A total of 102 stocks declined yesterday, more than the 67 stocks that gained. Some 63 stocks ended unchanged. — with Reuters