THE stock market experienced a bloodbath on Thursday as investors were discouraged after the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth data for the first quarter showed that it slowed to its lowest in four years.
The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 2.16 percent or 171.07 points to close at 7,755.62. The wider All Shares, meanwhile, declined by 1.42 percent or 69.13 points to end at 4,807.85.
“The market’s slide was primarily due to the slowdown in GDP growth,” Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Japhet Louis Tantiangco said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority announced on Thursday that the country’s economic growth in January to March slowed to a 16-quarter low of 5.6 percent from 6.5 percent in the same period last year and 6.3 percent in the last quarter of 2018.
The PSA attributed the drop to the delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget, which forced the government to operate on a reenacted budget from January to mid-April.
“While it was already expected by many that GDP growth would decline from first-quarter last year’s 6.5 percent…it came as a surprise that growth came down to the level it [was] in,” Tantiango said.
P2P Trade Online sales associate Gabriel Jose Perez also pointed to the lower GDP as having dragged the index.
“Another alarming issue to watch out for…should be how US markets move tonight, more so that Dow futures are already down by 240 points [as] of this writing,” Perez said.
In the US, the Dow Jones was the sole gainer, up 0.01 percent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 0.16 percent and 0.26 percent, respectively.
In the region, Tokyo fell 0.93 percent, Shanghai declined 1.48 percent, Hong Kong plunged 2.39 percent, Seoul dived 3.04 percent, Jakarta lost 1.14 percent, Singapore slipped 0.43 percent and Bangkok dipped 0.36 percent.
In Manila, all sectoral results finished in the red, with the financials index down the most by 2.81 percent.
More than 663 million issues were traded valued at P9.15 billion.
Losers led winners, 109 to 88, while 43 issues were unchanged.