RENEWED geopolitical jitters sparked a sell-off on Wednesday, causing the Philippine stock market to swing back to below the 8,000 level.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.81 percent or 65.38 points to finish at 7,983.97. The broader All Shares dropped 0.58 percent or 27.72 points to close at 4,739.21.
“I would guess that the tensions in North Korea still carries a lot of weight as well as … 3.1 percent inflation [for August],” Philstocks Financial, Inc. senior research analyst Justino Calaycay Jr. said.
The rise in consumer prices from 3.8 percent in July, he noted, has raised expectations that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would tighten policy before the year ends.
“There is not enough catalyst to keep the market up and we are expecting the market to stay on the sidelines ahead,” Calaycay added.
The stock market had initially ignored North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test last Sunday but reports that Pyongyang was preparing fresh missile launches spooked investors.
“Philippine and US stocks sank coming back from a holiday break, as investors sold stocks due to tension at the two divided Korean [countries],” Regina Capital Development Corp. said in a note.
“Look to a negative start as sentiments look to be still weak, with investors eyeing developments … [in]Korea,” it added.
All sectoral indices settled in the red.
Over two billion shares valued at P6.7 billion were traded.
Decliners led advancers, 111 to 71, while 66 issues were unchanged.