Asian mart slump drags PH stocks


Philippine shares trailed Asian markets toward a weak close as investors fretted over China’s poor economic data and tensions in Ukraine.

“We’re still closely following the regional markets. The concern right now of the major markets is China’s disappointing data. Aside from their weak exports data, they released more industrial and retail data which were also lower than estimates,” Abbygayle Estrella, analyst at AB Capital Securities, said.

“The market is also closely monitoring the tension between Ukraine and Russia,” she added.

On Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slipped 0.60 percent, or 38.55 points to settle at 6,391.24, while the wider all-shares index shed 0.31 percent, or 12.10 points to 3,866.72.

From Tokyo, Agence France-Presse reported the benchmark index slumped 3.30 percent, or 488.32 points, to 14,327.66, Seoul fell 0.75 percent, or 14.48 points, to 1,919.90, and Sydney gave up 1.54 percent, or 83.2 points, to close at 5,329.4.

Shanghai lost 0.73 percent, or 14.77 points, to 2,004.34. In the afternoon, Hong Kong was 1.03-percent lower.

The downtrends in major Asian markets were in reaction to China’s report of a February trade deficit and an export slump. Traders scurried into lower-risk assets such as the yen, owing to growing economic uncertainty and geopolitical fears, the report said.

On the Manila bourse, except for holding firms, which gained 0.43 percent, or 25.09 points to 5,893.42, all sectoral indices fell. Services sustained the largest decline, losing 1.23 percent, or 23.65 points at 1,891.65, followed by property, which dipped 0.96 percent, or 23.30 points to 2,410.13.

Industrials shed 81.43 points, or 0.82 percent to 9,803.97, and financials shed 0.79 percent, or 12.34 points to 1,547.11. Mining and oil dipped 0.48 percent, or 68.69 points to 14,276.81.

A total of 1.1 billion shares valued at P5.6 billion were traded on Friday. Advancers were outnumbered by decliners, 60 to 94, while 51 issues were unchanged.

Some of the biggest losers on Friday were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Universal Robina Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Alliance Global Group Inc., Aboitiz Power Corp., BDO Unibank Inc., Emperador Inc., and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

On Thursday, local shares dropped for the second straight day on extended profit-taking. The PSEi lost 0.51 percent, or 32.68 points to close at 6,429.79, with the wider all-shares index settling at 3,878.82 with a 0.15-percent loss.


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