PH stocks tumble on Trump immigrants ban

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PSEi retreats 1.46%

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SHARES on the Philippine Stock Exchange took a beating on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning returning immigrants from six Muslim countries.

The benchmark PSEi fell 107.05 points or 1.46 percent to 7,229.66. The wider All Shares dropped 47.87 points or 1.08 percent to close at 4,367.81.

Victor Immanuel Felix, equity analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said the market was “reacting to negative sentiment toward Trump’s EO to ban immigrants from six Muslim nations.”

“We joined other regional markets; they are also down today… [The Trump order] sent jitters to the market, and opened the possibility of other Asians being included on the list. But I don’t see that anytime soon,” Felix said.

Trump EO covered refugees and holders of a US visa on American soil who are originally from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Specifically, visa-holders on vacation may not go back to the US for 90 days, while all refugee admission is suspended for 120 days, according to the EO.

“It also opens up the rhetoric about the Philippines’ BPO [business process outsourcing]centers: To what extent he will punish firms operating abroad?”

Felix noted some investors were reluctant to take positions, a situation that kept the value turnover below P7 billion. Investor sentiment was practically in risk-off mode, and the market is now waiting for fourth quarter corporate results, he said.

More than 1.55 billion shares, valued at P5.27 billion, changed hands during. Losers led gainers, 126 to 66, and 43 issues traded unchanged.

Among the actively traded issues, Metrobank closed unchanged while Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. closed higher. BDO Unibank Inc., GT Capital Holdings Inc. and Ayala Corp. posted losses.

On Monday, the PSEi was up 0.04 percent at 7,336.71, while the All Shares was basically flat with a 0.01 percent gain at 4,415.68.

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