Stocks fell for the third straight day Friday, weighed down by lingering concerns on rising inflation and escalating tensions on trade talks overseas.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index lost 40.07 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,598.64 on a value turnover of P6.3 billion. Gainers, however, beat losers, 103 to 89, with 46 issues unchanged.
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. declined 2.9 percent to P917, while SM Investments Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy dropped 2.2 percent to P938.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is into toll roads, water and electricity distribution, power generation and hospitals, rallied 4.4 percent to P5.27, while JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei rose 2.4 percent to P57.65.
Most Asian equities, meanwhile, sank on Friday as investors fret that the US will ramp up its trade war with China by imposing fresh tariffs, while chip-makers were among the biggest losers following a sharp sell-off in New York.
Japan’s Nikkei led losses, ending 0.8 percent lower with exporters hurt by a stronger yen as dealers ran to the safe-haven unit for shelter from market turmoil.
“The timing of the WSJ story is significant as it serves as a reminder before an expected Japan-US summit later this month, when trade consultations will also likely be held,” said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank.
Sydney lost 0.3 percent and Singapore dropped 0.4 percent. Seoul gave up 0.3 percent while Taipei shed 0.7 percent.
However, Hong Kong edged up 0.1 percent in the afternoon after fluctuating through the day, while Shanghai gained 0.4 percent by the close and Jakarta added 0.3 percent.
While emerging market contagion fears continue to stalk trading floors, Donald Trump’s protectionist drive returned to the fore following an indication Japan was next in the firing line, while NAFTA talks with Canada amble along.
There was some relief that Trump did not immediately impose levies on $200 billion of Chinese goods after the passing of a deadline for a public consultation.
The threatened tariffs would add to the $50 billion in imports already targeted and mark a major step up in the long-running battle between the world’s top two economies.
Beijing has warned it will immediately retaliate against any measures, fueling fears of an all-out trade war that is already showing signs of causing a drag on the global economy.
The president also appeared to be preparing to set his sights on Japan, with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal saying his good relationship with Tokyo “will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.”
While Trump has mostly taken out his anger with China and Europe, he has often in the past complained of an uneven trade relationship with Japan.
Chip firms joined their Wall Street counterparts in turning south on growing concerns about demand following a lowering of expectations by US giant KLA-Tencor.
Samsung sank almost three percent in Seoul while SK Hynix was 3.7 percent lower. Tokyo Electron dived six percent and Advantest was more than seven percent lower. With AFP