By Krista Angela M. Montealegre
STOCKS extended their losing streak to a fourth straight session amid lingering fears over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 37.82 points or 0.47% to close at 7,928.43 on Friday, while the all-shares index gave up 26.75 points or 0.57% to end at 4,681.81.
“As expected, the Philippine market suffered the same fate as everyone regionally, succumbing to the panic as tensions between the United States and North Korea persisted after President (Donald J.) Trump doubled down its rhetoric against North Korea,” Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in mobile phone message.
Overnight, Wall Street took a hit after US President Donald J. Trump warned Pyongyang after it unveiled plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near Guam.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 204.69 points 0r 0.93% to close at 21,844.01, its biggest point loss since May 17.
Asian equities excluding Japan fell the most in eight months, according to Bloomberg.
For PNB Securities President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona, the local market has managed to stay relatively calm compared to its counterparts.
The benchmark PSEi lost as much as one percent in intraday trade before recouping losses to finish flat for the week.
“The market is still taking money off the table due to tensions between North Korea and the US. Value turnover is a bit thin at P5 billion, which tells me that investors are not panicking,” Mr. Lisbona said in a separate message.
Value turnover improved to P5.5 billion after 1,999,871,264 shares changed hands, from P5.17 billion on Thursday.
The rebalancing of the Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) index, which reduced the weight of Philippine stocks in the widely tracked measure, may have added to the selling pressure, RCDC’s Mr. Limlingan said.
MSCI also announced that it is removing ABS-CBN Holdings “A” Philippine depository receipts from the MSCI Global Small Cap Indexes, which will take effect at the close of Aug. 31.
Four of the six sub-sectors finished in the red, with property sustaining the biggest losses at 58.28 points or 1.54% to 3,728.38.
Likewise, mining and oil tumbled 116.51 points or 0.92% to 12,492.21, holding firms slid 55.93 points or 0.71% to 7,803.44, while financials dipped 6.33 points or 0.32% to 1,988.09.
Bucking the trend were the industrial sector, which climbed 44.27 points or 0.41% to 10,793.93, and services, which eked out a gain of less than a point to 1,685.32.
Decliners dominated advancers, 108 to 60, while 82 issues were unchanged.
Net foreign buying accelerated to P251.896 million from P168.94 million in the previous session.