Shares extend decline following US-China deal

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PHILIPPINE STOCKS continued to decline on Thursday as investors chose to flock to Wall Street amid lingering concerns following the signing of the phase one trade deal between United States and China.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 11.22 points or 0.14% to close at 7,653.18 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index dipped 8.30 points or 0.18% to 4,531.

“Investors continued to pour money in the US market after President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a trade pact with China,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message yesterday.

US and China successfully moved closer to resolving its two-year conflict over tariffs after signing the first segment of its trade deal on Wednesday. US Vice-President Mike Pence also told Fox Business Network that the two countries have already started talks on its phase two deal.

Following the Washington signing ceremony on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indices all climbed 0.31%, 0.19% and 0.08%, respectively.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets also gained ground on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal.

However, despite the signing of the trade deal, investors were cautious as China’s commitments seem “neither ground-breaking nor sufficiently binding in the specifics,” Mizuho analysts said in a note.

“The big picture is that ‘Phase-1’ is a partial deal that merely pauses the US-China trade conflict, buying time to sort out differences, but far from a lasting resolution,” the analysts said, as reported by Reuters.

Trade-sensitive Singapore shares edged higher amid gains in financial and telecommunication firms. DBS Group Holdings Ltd. added 0.7% and heavyweight Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. jumped 1.2%.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s benchmark index swung between gains and losses, while Thai shares ticked higher.

Back home, more sectoral indices recorded losses on Thursday, led by property, which dropped 27.13 points or 0.67% to 3,997.13. Industrials shed 46.60 points or 0.49% to 9,336.62; holding firms erased 33.45 points or 0.44% to 7,460.01; and services slipped by 1.11 point or 0.07% to 1,554.94.

The advancers were financials, which added 18.59 points or 1.03% to 1,821.31, and mining and oil, which gained 78.95 points or 0.99% to 8,048.41.

Value turnover totalled P6.44 billion with 1.04 billion issues changing hands, from Wednesday’s turnover of P7.04 billion and 667.02 million issues.

Declining stocks beat those that increased, 112 against 89, while 32 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors remained sellers on Thursday, but net outflows dropped to P478.39 million from the P883.99 million seen on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez with Reuters