PSE index sinks to 7,800 level on foreign selling

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THE MAIN INDEX fell to the 7,800 level on Tuesday on concerns over the trade negotiations between the United States and China happening this week, in addition to foreign investors’ selling spree.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slumped 0.97% or 76.83 points to 7,833.75, marking its lowest finish since Jan. 16. The broader all-shares index likewise shed 0.8% or 38.71 points to 4,802.89.

“Philippine investors kept to the sidelines right before the US resumed trading this week, and until some closure from the trade talks would arise given that the deadline is fast approaching,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

A fresh round of talks between US and Chinese officials were set to begin in Washington on Tuesday with follow-up sessions at the higher level later in the week. Officials of the world’s two largest economies said they have reached progress on contentious issues in their negotiations last week.

Wall Street indices were closed yesterday in celebration of President’s Day.

“A renewed round of net foreign selling dragged the index to trade in the red for most of the day,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

Foreign investors booked net sales of P289.39 million yesterday compared to Monday’s net buying figure of P549.03 million.

Ayala Land, Inc. and BDO Unibank, Inc. recorded the largest losses for the day, dropping 3.7% and 3.2%, respectively. They also posted the highest net foreign selling prints of P255 million and P182 million, respectively.

All sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by property which dropped 1.57% or 62.85 points to 3,940.09. Services tumbled 0.82% or 12.95 points to 1,565.99; financials dipped 0.8% or 14.45 points to 1,773.39; industrials dropped 0.77% or 88.15 points to 11,338.96; holding firms went down 0.7% or 55.91 points to 7,883.87; while mining and oil ended 0.17% lower or 14.68 points to 8,443.63.

Decliners beat advancers, 132 to 84, while 39 names ended flat.

Some 2.80 billion issues switched hands on Tuesday for a total turnover of P8.10 billion, lower than the previous session’s P11.07 billion.

The list of 20 most actively traded stocks showed 14 losers, including Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (down 6.25%), Universal Robina Corp. (down 3.10%), and Bloomberry Resorts Corp. (down 2.48%).

Meanwhile, the same list showed five gainers, including Robinsons Land Corp. (up 6.86%) and Megaworld Corp. (up 5.27%).

Meanwhile, most Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Tuesday, lifted by optimism that the United States and China might be inching towards a deal to resolve their nearly year-long trade dispute.

The Malaysian benchmark index extended gains to a second session, while Vietnam shares were boosted by real estate stocks. Indonesian stocks pared previous session’s upbeat gains to edge 0.3% higher. — Arra B. Francia