PSE index extends decline on negative sentiment

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THE MAIN INDEX retreated on Tuesday as investor sentiment remained dim amid fears of a global economic slowdown.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slumped 0.5% or 39.21 points to close at 7,739.86 yesterday, marking its third straight session of decline. The broader all shares index likewise dropped 0.54% or 25.83 points to 4,687.04.

“Investors are just not getting into the market. All the gloom and doom on world markets and economies have really dulled the general investor sentiment on equities,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

Mr. Mangun noted that the main index ended lower than its support level of 7,750, which indicates that the market could go even lower to the 7,600 level.

“We may see a minor bounce in the coming days, but the direction is still very clear. This market is going lower,” he said.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan noted that investors failed to find relief even as US President Donald J. Trump downplayed reports that Washington wants to limit US investments in Chinese firms.

“Shares started the last quarter of the month on a negative note, even after Trump administration officials played down or disputed reports Washington was weighing plans to impede US investments in Chinese companies. Despite this, it did little to soothe fears that had put equities under pressure recently,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

The PSEi failed to mirror the positive close at Wall Street overnight, although analysts noted that US markets still ended the quarter on a quiet note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36% or 96.58 points to 26,916.83. The S&P 500 index went up 0.50% or 14.95 points to 2,976.74, while the Nasdaq Composite rallied 0.75% or 59.71 points to 7,999.34.

Asian markets also closed mostly with gains, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices up 0.59% and 0.96%, respectively. Chinese stock markets were closed in celebration of National Day, or the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Back home, the holding firms counter was the lone sub-index that ended with gains, rising 0.47% or 35.96 points to 7,631.29.

The rest finished in negative territory, led by mining and oil which plunged 3.17% or 286.02 points to 8,724.67. Industrials shed 1.25% or 132.31 points to 10,432.82; property fell 1.21% or 49.61 points to 4,051.66; financials lost 0.68% or 12.33 points to 1,792.44; while services decreased 0.56% or 8.6 points to 1,517.90.

Some 652.79 million issues switched hands at P5.45 billion, lower than Monday’s P12.93 billion, which excludes block sales from Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. Decliners swamped advancers, 135 to 52, while 50 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors continued their selling spree as they logged net outflows worth P592.65 million on Tuesday, albeit lower than the previous session’s P2.17 billion. — Arra B. Francia