PHL stocks decline as HK protests dent sentiment

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PSE bells

By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

LOCAL SHARES fell on Tuesday as heightened protests in Hong Kong dragged already negative sentiment due to the US-China trade war.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plunged 0.84% or 65.94 points to close at 7,788.45 yesterday, being bought up at the close as the index hit an intraday low of 7,622.27. The broader all-shares index likewise shed 0.87% or 41.89 points to 4,742.22.

“Geopolitical tensions pushed safe haven assets such as gold and US Treasury higher, and the equities market in the Philippines much lower. Stocks dropped as political unrest in Argentina and Hong Kong hit investors already nervous about trade tensions,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

What started out as a protest against the extradition bill in Hong Kong has now extended to its 11th week, with protesters calling for democracy and investigations into police brutality. Hundreds of flights were canceled from Hong Kong’s airport on Tuesday, forcing several Asian airlines to reroute their aircraft from the city.

Asian indices ended lower on Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down by 1.11% or 229.38 points to 20,455.44. The Hang Seng index tumbled 1.81% or 467.23 points to 25,357.49, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.63% or 17.73 points to 2,797.26.

Wall Street indices also bled, as growing fears on the US-China trade war triggered a sell-off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.48% or 389.73 points to 25,897.71. The S&P 500 index retreated 1.22% or 35.56 points to 2,883.09, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 1.20% or 95.73 points to 7,863.41.

“Market will continue to be volatile due to the US-China trade war and lack of liquidity as the ghost month of August lingers,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said via text.

Back home, four sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by property which plummeted 2.6% or 106.62 points to 3,993.40. Financials lost 1.76% or 32.60 points to 1,819; services slumped 1.37% or 21.85 points to 1,569.74, while industrials dropped 0.95% or 103.29 points to 10,700.98.

In contrast, mining and oil climbed 0.62% or 50.77 points to 8,202.99, while holding firms rose 0.53% or 40.59 points to 7,671.01.

Some 1.82 billion issues valued at P8.58 billion switched hands, lower than the previous session’s P6.17-billion turnover.

Foreign investors were net sellers for the sixth straight session at P2.12 billion from P670.93 million on Friday.

Decliners were almost triple the advancers, 157 to 53, while 42 names ended flat.

Eleven out of the 20 most actively traded stocks incurred losses, led by Filinvest Land, Inc. (down 7.18%) and Megaworld Corp. (down 5.26%).