PHL stocks decline on US-China trade war fears

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES edged lower on Monday due to lingering fears of a trade war between the United States and China.
PHL stocks decline on US-China trade war fears
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gave up 0.48% or 38.42 points to close at 7,932.38 today.

The broader all-shares index also dropped 0.57% or 27.49 points to 4,796.67.

“Philippine markets continued to slide after the Trump administration announced 25% tariffs on approximately $50 billion of imports from China over the weekend,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

US President Donald J. Trump’s imposition of new trade regulations against China follows a seven-month investigation into intellectual property theft, a concern that has long surrounded US-China trade relations.

The looming trade war also pulled down Wall Street’s major indices last Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 1.77% or 424.69 points lower at 23,533.20. The S&P 500 index decreased 2.1% or 55.43 points to 2,588.26, while the Nasdaq Composite index lost 2.43% or 174.01 points to 6,992.67.

Back home, the industrials sub-index was the lone sector that managed to eke out gains, adding 0.34% or 38.85 points to 11,288.27. The rest ended in negative territory, led by services that shed 1.54% or 25.99 points to 1,653.99, and property that declined 0.76% or 27.81 points to 3,601.25.

Financials also dropped 0.60% or 12.51 points to 2,040.64; mining and oil slumped 0.25% or 27.14 points to 10,799.89; while holding firms fell 0.20% or 15.81 points to 7,907.60.

Trading thinned on Monday as just 1.75 billion issues valued at P6.34 billion switched hands from Friday’s P8.65 billion.

“Players may have executed their trades last week, ahead of the shortened Easter trading. The average traded value last week hit P10.7 billion versus P8.8 billion year to date,” Papa Securities Corp. Deputy Research Head Arabelle C. Maghirang said in an e-mail.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 138 to 65, while 41 issues were unchanged.

Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said investors are repositioning their portfolios ahead of the long weekend, as the PSE will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Lenten break.

“Funds are winding down their portfolio as part of their window dressing ahead of the long weekend. To safeguard against volatility, many are keeping to cash to perhaps protect their funds’ net asset values,” he said.

Foreign investors were still on selling mode, unloading a net P708.18 million on Monday, although lower than Friday’s net sales of P1.07 billion.

“The market continues to trend downwards…We peg our first support level at 7,800, second at 7,700. Resistance levels are at 8,050 and 8,400,” Papa Securities’ Ms. Maghirang said.