PHL stocks slump on US-China trade deal fears

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PSE bells

By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES fell on Monday as sentiment turned sour following US President Donald J. Trump’s threats to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slumped 1.32% or 105.68 points to close at 7,862.30. The broader all-shares index likewise dropped 0.94% or 46.20 points to 4,859.86.

“The increase in tariffs by Trump certainly was a factor in pulling our market lower,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. President William Matthew M. Cabangon said in a text message.

Mr. Trump tweeted early Monday morning that tariffs on 10% of certain Chinese goods will rise to 25% on Friday, and $325 billion of untaxed goods could face 25% tariffs “shortly.” He also said that the trade deal with China was moving “too slowly.”

China is said to be considering canceling trade talks, which were scheduled to resume in Washington this Wednesday.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan also attributed Monday’s decline to US-China trade issues.

“The trade talk at risk of a collapse/ and the heightening of geopolitical risk headlined today’s market sell-off,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message on Monday.

Market futures in the US pointed toward losses in Monday’s trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures down by 1.81%. S&P 500 futures were lower by 1.67%, while Nasdaq Composite futures also down by 2.03%.

Back home, AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Cabangon also added that sentiment has been especially weak because of the PSEi’s failure to hold above the 8,000 level. The main index managed to close at 8,001.57 on May 2, but quickly fell to the 7,900 mark the next day as investors decided to take profits.

“8,000 has proven to be a very strong resistance level for our market, which can discourage investors from buying again at those levels in the near future,” Mr. Cabangon explained.

All sectoral indices ended in the red, with financials leading the decline at 2.18% or 38.81 points to 1,735.65.

Property retreated 1.79% or 76.67 points to 4,196.64; services shed 1.1% or 17.81 points to 1,596.64; industrials slipped 1.02% or 121.29 points to 11,710.81; holding firms declined 0.67% or 51.45 points to 7,540.83; while mining and oil dipped 0.65% or 50.91 points to close at 7,687.45 on Monday.

Value turnover stood at P6.26 billion after some 719.41 million issues switched hands, down from Friday’s P8.18 billion.

Decliners were nearly triple the advancers, 146 to 56, while 35 names were unchanged.

Still, net foreign outflows slimmed to P22.23 million compared to the previous session’s P68.16 million.