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PSEi drops below 8,000 on geopolitical tensions

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STOCKS dropped below the 8,000 line on Tuesday following concerns over North Korea’s recent launching of a missile over Japan earlier in the day.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.83% or 66.75 points to 7,948.39 yesterday, as investors were cautious amid geopolitical tensions between North Korea, Japan, and the US. The all-shares index also dropped 0.59% or 28.38 points to 4,720.68.

“It looks like the market was negatively affected by the missile North Korea launched over Japan… We are expecting tensions to rise again between Japan, the US, North Korea and quite possibly China,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said in a text message on Tuesday.

Pyongyang fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan on Tuesday, weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to target Guam with the same missiles.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch an “unprecedented and grave threat” to their country’s security, then called for an emergency meeting alongside US President Donald J. Trump with the United Nations security council to discuss the incident.

“Today we saw another down day as geopolitical tensions rise with NoKor (North Korea)’s ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) launching over Hokkaido, Japan. We may expect traders to take an even more risk averse stance amid concerns on the nuclear threats,” Frank Gerard J. Barboza, equity trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc., said in a text message on Tuesday.

Most Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday following the missile launch, with the Japan Nikkei 225 dropping 0.45% or 87.35 points to 19,362.55 and South Korea’s KOSPI index losing 0.23% or 5.56 points to 2,364.74.

MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also shed as much as 0.9%. In Southeast Asia, Malaysian shares led the decline, with the main stock index falling to a more than one-month low. Singapore shares fell as much as 0.7% before reversing losses to trade 0.2% down.

Back home, most sectoral counters moved to negative territory save for mining and oil, which ended with a gain of 0.47% or 61.85 points to 13,118.55.

The services sector led losers as it dropped 1.49% or 25.83 points to 1,698.1, followed by industrials, which lost 0.98% or 109.88 points to 11,018.85. Property slipped 0.86% or 32.66 points to 3,733.6; holding firms closed 41.76 points or 0.53% lower at 7,837.48; and financials dipped 0.18% or 3.7 points to close at 1,987.79.

The market saw a value turnover of P6.87 billion after 1.35 billion issues changed hands, rising slightly from the previous session’s P6.25 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 103 to 84, while 51 issues were unchanged.

Foreigners took a selling position, with net outflows recorded at P19.37 million, reversing last Friday’s net foreign buying of P17.52 million. — Arra B. Francia with Reuters

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