Shares inch up amid es­ca­lat­ing US-China ten­sions

Business World - - TH ESTOCK MARKET - Fran­cia Arra B.

SHARES closed a tad higher on Thurs­day, with no new leads to draw in­vestors back to the mar­ket.

The 30- mem­ber Philip­pine Stock Ex­change in­dex ( PSEi) added 0.23% or 16.85 points to close at 7,350.58.

The broader all-shares in­dex also went up 0.16% or 7.19 points to 4,455.20.

The PSEi man­aged to defy Wall Street’s neg­a­tive per­for­mance overnight, in re­sponse to ris­ing trade ten­sions be­tween the United States and China.

“The Philip­pine mar­kets con­tinue to be per­ceived as a safe haven when US stocks fell sharply af­ter the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced new tar­iffs on Chi­nese goods, fur­ther es­ca­la­tion ten­sions be­tween the two economies in the world, which some in­vestors fear could morph into a full-on trade war,” Regina De­vel­op­ment Corp. Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Luis A. Lim­lin­gan said in a mo­bile mes­sage.

Mr. Lim­lin­gan ear­lier said that in­vestors see the PSEi as a less volatile mar­ket since it is a net im­porter.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age dropped 0.88% or 219.21 points to 24,700.45, while the S&P 500 in­dex shed 0.71% or 19.82 points to 2,774.02. The Nas­daq Com­pos­ite in­dex slipped 0.55% or 42.59 points to 7,716.61.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump re­leased ear­lier this week a fresh round of tar­iffs for $ 200 bil­lion worth of Chi­nese goods, which now cov­ers around 10,000 prod­ucts. Mr. Trump said he’s pre­pared to slap tar­iffs on an­other $200 bil­lion in goods in the fu­ture.

Mean­while, most Asian mar­kets closed higher on Thurs­day, mount­ing a re­cov­ery from the ini­tial shock af­ter Mr. Trump’s an­nounce­ment on the new tar­iffs. MSCI’s in­dex of shares in Asia Pa­cific ex­clud­ing Ja­pan went up 0.53% dur­ing af­ter­noon trad­ing.

Lo­cally, four sec­toral indices ended in pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory, led by fi­nan­cials which jumped 0.97% or 17.57 points to 1,824.08. In­dus­tri­als fol­lowed with a 0.74% uptick of 76.89 points to 10,390.30. Hold­ing firms climbed 0.33% or 24.42 points to 7,248.80, while ser­vices went up 0.03% or 0.55 point to 1,432.98.

Mean­while, prop­erty lost 0.53% or 19.19 points to 3,582.08 and the min­ing and oil counter gave up 0.28% or 27.17 points to 9,681.06.

Even as the main in­dex ad­vanced, de­clin­ers still out­paced gain­ers, 106 to 84, while 46 is­sues re­mained un­changed.

The mar­ket saw some 2.13 bil­lion is­sues switch hands val­ued at P5.53 bil­lion, higher than Wednes­day’s P5.16- bil­lion turnover.

“While the PSEi ended above its re­cent high, it might be too soon to be overly op­ti­mistic as the in­dex still closed at prac­ti­cally the same level. Vol­ume was also light at only P5.5B — a clear breakout would need a large ac­com­pa­ny­ing vol­ume,” Papa Se­cu­ri­ties Corp. trader Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail.

For­eign in­vestors ac­cel­er­ated their sell­ing, with net for­eign out­flows climb­ing P262.82 mil­lion from the P85.69 mil­lion recorded in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion. •

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