The Philippine stock benchmark index fell to the 7,500 mark for the first time in four months amid global market jitters over a still possible US Fed rate hike sooner than expected this year.
“The local market took its cue from Wall Street as the US Federal Reserve made indications toward an interest rate hike within the year on better-than-forecast economic data,” Jason Escartin, investment analyst at online brokerage firm 2TradeAsia.com, said.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) retreated 1.68 percent or 129.80 points to settle at 7,598.70. The wider All Shares index dropped 1.56 percent or 69.20 points to 4,367.19.
This is the first time the PSEi slipped to the 7,500-point level since January 26 this year, when it finished at 7,586.67. Wednesday’s closing level, however, remains within the consensus major support range at 7,400 to 7,500 previously set by market analysts.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.04 percent or 190.48 points to 18,041.54, while S&P 500 fell 1.03 percent or 21.86 points to 2,104.20 and tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.11 percent or 56.61 points to 5,032.75.
Escartin said the rate hike scare dominated the day’s sessions, prompting investors to sell shares without caring about the potential upside to mining and oil stocks from the $0.99 per barrel drop in global crude oil prices.
The mining and oil index slid 3.17 percent and industrials retreated 2.78 percent, leading the sectoral declines.
Top decliners among the 10 most actively traded companies in Wednesday’s trade were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Universal Robina Corp, GT Capital Holdings Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Land Inc., BDO Unibank Inc., SM Investments Corp., Megaworld Corp. and Ayala Corp. Only Alliance Global Group Inc. posted a gain among the active stocks.
Losers outnumbered gainers 132 to 54, while 38 issues closed unchanged. Trade volume stood at 1.59 billion, valued at P11.44 billion.
On Tuesday, the PSEi dipped 0.43 percent or 33.03 points to 7,728.50, while the broader All Shares index lost 0.68 percent or 30.43 points to 4,436.39.