By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter

SHARES continued their sluggish performance on Wednesday amid developments here and abroad.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 39.25 points or 0.5% to close at 7,815.93, while the broader all shares index went down 23.39 points or 0.5% to reach 4,657.81.

“The index was hit by a slew of negative issues today, both internal and external to close the day 39.25 points down at 7,815.93. Internal issues that hit the PSEi members today mostly came from President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte’s tirade against Maynilad [Water Services. Inc.], Manila Water [Co., Inc.], and the Ayalas last night,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Wednesday.

Mr. Duterte threatened the water concessionaires that he would scrap their concession agreements. Specifically, he claimed that Manila Water is not paying corporate income tax, and instead is passing this down to consumers.

Abroad, Mr. Perez noted US President Donald Trump’s statement that he is willing to wait until the 2020 elections to complete Washington’s negotiations with China. This was reflected in the downward performance of US markets.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial index fell 280.23 points or 1.01% to 27,502.81, the S&P 500 index shed 20.67 points or 0.66% to 3,093.20, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 47.34 points or 0.55% to 8,520.65.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan also noted the same issue, as well as the signing of several bills that could possibly intensify trade war tensions.

“President Trump said he would be willing to wait for another year before striking a trade agreement with China, and probably better to wait until the election for the China deal,” he said in a text message.

“The US House of Representatives is expected to vote… on the Uighur Human Rights bill, which is likely to raise US-China tensions further. Chinese state media said the government will soon publish a list of unreliable entities could lead to sanctions against US companies. This was passed early this morning,” he said on Wednesday.

At home, subsectors ended in the red except for industrials, which gained 40.94 points or 0.42% to end at 9,716.54, as well as financials, which was up 10.72 points or 0.57% to 1,890.86.

Losers were led by mining and oil, which fell 140.98 points or 1.81% to end at 7,638.28; property fell 67.64 points or 1.62% to 4,085; holding firms fell 51.91 points or 0.67% to 7,696.16; and services fell 10.28 points or 0.66% to 1,533.72.

Some 644.07 million issues valued at P7.72 billion switched hands on Wednesday, higher than the previous session’s 480.81 million shares worth P5.06 billion.

Foreigners turned buyers at P922.23 million from previous session’s net selling worth P155.94 million. Losers edged out advancers, 122 to 58, while 47 issues were unchanged.