Stocks decline further as foreign selling persists

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By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES dropped on Wednesday as foreign investors continued to exit the market.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) retreated 0.91% or 69.95 points to close at 7,576.71, settling in negative territory after steady gains in the early morning session. The all-shares index likewise slipped 0.59% or 28.37 points to end at 4,708.17.

“The index steadily dropped throughout the day after a strong start in the morning to end 69.95 points lower at 7,576.71 after even being sold down at the close. Today’s net foreign selling of P1.2B may have been the culprit,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

Foreign net outflows persisted for an eighth straight session yesterday, albeit slightly lower at P1.16 billion from Tuesday’s P1.46 billion.

“With the PSEi firmly closing below its 200-day moving average support [on Wednesday] that it rebounded from [on Tuesday], support level to now look to if foreign selling persists in the coming days would be the area of December 2018’s low of 7,350,” Mr. Perez said.

On the other hand, Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan blamed concerns over the trade war between the United States and China.

“The Philippine market continued to trade sluggishly as Sino-US trade news dominated headlines,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message yesterday.

After China hiked its tariffs in retaliation to the US’ actions, US President Donald J. Trump tweeted that the Federal Reserve could “match” whatever Chinese officials were doing to offset the impact of the tariff increases on the economy.

Negotiations between the two parties, however, remain open, with a US delegation reported to be traveling to Beijing sometime soon for further talks.

Markets were up in the US overnight as investors went bargain hunting after the sharp losses seen in the previous week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.82% or 207.06 points to 25,532.05. The S&P 500 index jumped 0.8% or 22.54 points to 2,834.41, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.14% or 87.47 points to 7,734.50.

Back home, the services counter was the lone sub-index that ended with gains, up 1.6% or 25.61 points to end at 1,620.78 on Wednesday. The rest declined, led by property which fell 1.93% or 80.34 points to 4,076.47. Industrials plunged 1.35% or 155.41 points to 11,290.42; holding firms lost 0.86% or 61.94 points to 7,114.44; mining and oil slid 0.7% or 52.24 points to 7,359.85; while financials was down 0.28% or 4.87 points to 1,681.01.

Some 761.08 million issues valued at P7.23 billion switched hands, lower than the previous session’s P11.95-billion turnover.

Decliners slightly outpaced advancers, 98 to 92, while 52 names were unchanged.