PHILIPPINE EQUITIES finished the week with their third straight day of decline, keeping pace with weakening by Wall Street and others in Asia in the face of more protectionist moves by US President Donald A. Trump.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) edged down by 7.2 points or by a nearly flat 0.08% to close 8,458.57 on Friday, while the all-shares index fell by 12.29 points or 0.24% to end 5,065.34. PSEi was 0.11% down week-on-week.

Both Reuters and Agence France Presse noted that Mr. Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports as part of his “America-First” policy has again raised the specter of a brewing trade war that weighed on investor sentiment.

Thursday saw Wall Street retreat across the board, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 1.68% to 24,608.98, the S&P 500 giving up 1.33% to 2,677.67 and the Nasdaq Composite Index falling by 1.27% to 7,180.56.

Much of Asia followed suit with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, South Korea’s KOSPI, the Shanghai Composite Index, the Straits Times Index and the Jakarta Composite falling by 2.50, 1.83, 1.48%, 1.04%, 0.59%, 0.99% and 0.36%, respectively.

Back home, only two of the six sectoral indices ended Friday with gains, namely: industrials which increased by 74.42 or 0.65% to close 11,511.9 and financials which ended up by 13.03 points or 0.59% at 2,215.43.

The rest declined: mining and oil by 124.87 points or 1.03% to 11,905.19, holding firms by 62.24 points or 0.72% to 8,484.16, property by 19.07 points or 0.5% to 3,760.28 and services by 2.43 points or 0.13% to 1,745.14.

Friday’s list of the 20 most active stocks saw nine that declined, led by JG Summit Holdings, Inc.; Macroasia Corp. and Now Corp. (which has recently been riding a wave of optimism over stocks of smaller telecommunication firms that could step into the shoes of the country’s third major telecom service provider) that dropped 4.99% to P64.70 apiece, 3.11% to P28 and by 2.39% to P13.08 each, respectively.

The same list saw 10 stocks rise, led by Crown Equities, Inc.; ATN Holdings, Inc. “A” and MRC Allied, Inc. that climbed by 8.2% to close P0.33 apiece, 7.94% to P0.68 and 5.48% to P0.77 each.

Some 4.867 billion shares worth P7.246 billion changed hands on Friday, compared to Thursday’s 6.9 billion issues worth P7.56 billion.

Foreigners remained predominantly bearish for the ninth straight trading day, with net selling growing 11.262% to P619.929 million from Thursday’s P557.178 million.