The stock market fell further on Tuesday, dropping to its lowest in nearly a year, with investor sentiment said to have been dampened by trade and geopolitical concerns and fears of an economic overheating.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped by 1.87 percent or 146.86 points to finish at 7,723.39, returning to levels last seen in May last year. The broader All Shares fell 1.58 percent or 75.32 points to end at 4,695.96.
“There was a report by the World Bank saying that the Philippine economy is already overheating,” Diversified Securities, Inc. equity trader Aniceto Pangan said.
“[T]his was contested by a UA&P [economist]…but it seems that the effect on inflation after the implementation of the tax reform program has been perceived to weaken the bottomline of different companies..,” he added.
The World Bank, in a report released on Monday, noted “potential signs” of overheating such as higher core inflation, high manufacturing capacity utilization and a tight labor market.
Meanwhile, Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said “Philippine markets were sold down due to the tensions developing between Russia, US and Syria. Traders weighed weekend strikes in Syria and potential for additional US sanctions against Russia.”
US President Donald Trump on Saturday followed through with a threat to attack Syria in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. Syrian ally Russia had warned against the strikes.
Asian markets, which had initially gained on news that China’s first quarter economic growth had exceeded expectations, fell on geopolitical concerns and simmering trade tensions between the US and China.
All sectoral indices fell significantly in Manila, with the financial and mining and oil sectors dropping the most by 2.27 percent and 2.09 percent, respectively.
Among the most actively traded stocks, Puregold Price Club, Inc. fell the steepest, down 9.14 percent or P4.75 to P47.20, after it reported 5.7% growth in 2017 net income to P5.84 billion.
Over 1.2 billion issues valued at P7 billion changed hands.
Decliners beat advancers, 161 to 57, while 34 issues remained unchanged.