PSEi drops amid fears of global economic slowdown

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange — PHOTO BY SANTIAGO J. ARNAIZ

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES retreated on Friday, tracking the sell-off overseas on the back of fears of the global economic growth slowdown.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 1.07% or 84.68 points to 7,797.11 on the last trading day of the week, reversing the gains seen in the previous session. The broader all shares index likewise slumped 0.59% or 28.74 points to 4,817.22.

“Philippine shares quietly traded on the downside as the European Central Bank (ECB) cut Eurozone forecast and the Euro-USD plunged,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message, also noting the ECB’s decision to extend more cheap loans for banks.

The ECB slashed its 2019 gross domestic product estimate to 1.1% from 1.7%, while also cutting all inflation forecasts. With this, ECP President Mario Draghi said they will be enforcing new support measures such as cheap loans for banks, and lower interest rates for a longer period of time.

Analysts said that these support mechanisms point to ECB’s weaker economic growth, adding to fears that the global economy is slowing down.

The negative sentiment was seen across all regions, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding 0.78% or 200.23 points to 25,473.23. The S&P 500 index stumbled 0.81% or 22.52 points to 2,748.93, while the Nasdaq Composite index plunged 1.13% or 84.45 points to 7,421.47.

Asian indices were mostly in the red on Friday as well. Japan’s Nikkei 225 plummeted 2.01% or 430.45 points to 21,025.56; the Hang Seng index spiraled down 1.93% or 554.75 points to 28,224.70, while the Shanghai Composite fell 4.4% to 2,969.86.

Regional markets were generally in selling mode after China reported its biggest drop in exports since 2016, further contributing to concerns on a global slowdown.

At the local bourse, all sectoral indices moved to negative territory, led by holding firms which dropped 1.41% or 111.88 points to 7,798.76. Financials followed with a 0.98% decline or 17.50 points to 1,760.86.

Property edged lower by 0.91% or 36.29 points to 3,945.68; industrial slid 0.48% or 55.91 points to 11,580.39; services slipped 0.04% or 0.59 points to 1,550.64, while mining and oil was almost flat with a decrease of 0.02% or 1.53 points to 8,139.15.

Turnover further slimmed to P5.3 billion after some 1.1 billion issues switched hands, from the P5.84 billion seen on Thursday.

Decliners trumped advancers, 111 to 94, while 48 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained on buying mode, posting net purchases of P60.09 million, albeit smaller than the previous session’s P565.24 million.