PSE index plunges to worst finish for the year

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PSE BGC board

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX tumbled to its lowest finish so far this year, dampened by the overall negativity across international markets due to the weakness of the global economy.

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plummeted 1.66% or 116.76 points to 6,884.38, marking its lowest close since June 25 when the market ended at 6,986.88. The PSEi fell to an intraday low of 6,790.58, but managed to bounce back to the 6,800 level by closing bell.

The PSEi is now 24% lower than its record-high of 9,058.62 last Jan. 29.

Meanwhile, the broader all- shares index likewise slumped 1.33% or 57.49 points to 4,241.25.

“Philippine shares felt the onslaught of regional markets, as equities were sold down on higher volumes. US stocks tumbled the most since February as fresh concern about the impact of the trade war with China… European equities ended sharply lower Wednesday, joining a global equity sell-off, with investors unable to shake concerns about growth prospects,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reduced its growth outlook for the global economy to 3.7%, indicating a steady expansion from 2017 but a 0.2% downgrade from its 3.9% forecast announced last July.

The IMF also downgraded its growth forecast on the Philippine economy to 6.5% from its earlier projection of 6.7%.

Wall Street indices all ended in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrial average spiraling down 3.15% or 831.83 points to 25,598.74. The S&P 500 index gave up 3.29% or 94.66 points to 2,785.68, while the Nasdaq Composite index also lost 4.08% or 315.96 points to 7,422.05.

Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez also attributed the market’s decline to the sell-off in US markets, which trickled down to regional indices.

“Best to keep an eye out for how US markets also perform tonight as this could give an indication on how regional indices will perform tomorrow,” Mr. Perez said in an e-mail on Thursday.

Back home, all sectoral indices extended their declines. Holding firms gave up 2.26% or 155.05 points to 6,690.71, followed by property which lost 2.11% or 74.09 points to 3,423.23.

Services shed 1.94% or 28.93 points to 1,460.37; financials dropped 1.05% or 16.41 points to 1,534.30; mining and oil declined 0.83% or 71.91 points to 8,550.51; and industrials went down 0.17% or 17.59 points to 10,344.79.

Turnover firmed to P5.43 billion after some 1.03 billion issues switched hands, steady from Wednesday’s P5.37 billion.

Decliners were around quadruple the advancers, 167 to 39, while 34 names ended flat.

Foreign investors continued to pull out their funds from the market as net sales ballooned to P861.13 million from the previous session’s P507.96 million.