• Stock market drops on White House shake-up


    Share prices fell anew on Wednesday with sentiment dampened by declines on Wall Street following a shake-up at the White House.

    The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 0.84 percent or 70.83 points to close at 8,348.74 while the wider All Shares fell 0.62 percent or 31.31 points to end at 5,035.85.

    “The US market was downed last night after US President Donald Trump shuffled his Cabinet secretaries. This cascaded to regional markets including the Philippines, thus we are down,” Diversified Securities, Inc. equity trader Aniceto Pangan said.

    Trump on Wednesday fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying they were “not really thinking the same.” Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo was named as Tillerson’s replacement

    “Philippine markets sold down heavily after the sudden news that President Donald Trump said he is removing Rex Tillerson after a rocky tenure,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said.

    Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry Liu said the market was a little cautious as US inflation could gyrate in the medium term.

    US markets had initially rose following news that inflation had cooled to 0.2 percent in February from 0.5 percent a month earlier. This eased concerns that the Federal Reserve — expected to announce a fresh rate hike next week — would accelerate its tightening.

    “These developments are not crisis so far except that the market is a bit cautious,” Lui said, adding that a drawdown was likely given the upcoming Holy Week holidays.

    The mining and oil and industrial sectors were the only gainers on Wednesday, up by 0.81 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively.

    More than 6.59 billion issues valued at P7.47 billion changed hands.

    Losers led winners, 122 to 99, while 40 issues were unchanged.


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