PH stocks slip on geopolitical jitters


PHILIPPINE shares retreated on Thursday as geopolitical jitters overseas ruffled sentiment, prompting investors to cash in gains made over the past two trading days.

Fresh from a year-to-date high, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 31.11 points or 0.45 percent to 6,849.33 while the wider all shares also ended in the red, down 21.95 points or 0.53 percent at 4,112.80.

“Even as markets shift the fulcrum of trades to the broad economy and corporate earnings, geo-political risks continues to percolate beneath the surface,” Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said.

Syria’s three-year-old civil war and the escalating violence in Ukraine are but two of such conflicts, he said.

“On the narrower front, China’s territorial dispute with the Philippines, Japan and fairly recently Vietnam poses another possible flashpoint that could potentially blind the bulls,” Calaycay further said.

Overseas, the Dow Jones dropped over 100 points last night while European markets ended their respective sessions relatively flat.

Except for property, which went up slightly by 0.53 points or 0.02 percent to 2,754.26, majority of the sectoral indices were down.

Mining and oil plummeted 297.53 points or 1.80 percent to 16,194.19, followed by holding firms, which dropped 63.07 points or 1.00 percent to 6,215.12. Industrials also went down by 44.24 points or 0.42 percent to 10,369.37, while services fell 4.62 points or 0.22 percent to 2,062.21.

Trading volume shrank to 1.8 billion shares valued at P11.9 billion. Decliners overwhelmed advancers 127 to 49, with 48 issues unchanged.

“Optimists met early success in parrying the bears’ attack but the weight of a region showing mixed results told heavily, eventually pulling the measure in the red. This is the second straight session of wide negative breadth,” Calaycay said.

Some of the most actively traded stocks were Petron Corp., which stayed at P106.70; Megaworld Corp., up 0.43 percent at P4.70; Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which stayed at P2,906.00; and Universal Robina Corp, down 0.39 percent at P154.90.

On Wednesday, the benchmark index rose for a second straight day to its highest finish in 12 months, fueled by foreign buying amid continuing euphoria over last week’s surprise credit rating upgrade for the Philippines and the record performance of US equities.

The PSEi added 27.63 points or 0.40 percent to 6,880.44, its best finish since May 31 last year when the index closed at 7,021.95. But the wider all shares suffered minor losses, easing 1.23 points or 0.03 percent to 4,134.75.


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