Stocks slump for 6th straight day

The stock market slumped for the sixth straight day Wednesday on fears the US-China trade dispute may worsen.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index lost 68.81 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,449.20 on a value turnover of P5.7 billion. Losers beat gainers, 101 to 83, with 56 issues unchanged.

BDO Unibank Inc., the biggest lender in terms of assets, fell 3.4 percent to P114, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., which is into power generation and distribution, banking, food shipbuilding and infrastructure, dropped 6.7 percent to P47.60.

Universal Robina Corp., the largest snack food maker, tumbled 6 percent to P140, while parent JG Summit Holdings Inc. of industrialist John Gokongwei slumped 5.5 percent to P51.60.

The sell-off on the rest of Asian markets, meanwhile, extended into Wednesday with investors fearing an escalation in the US-China trade row after Beijing said it planned to impose anti-dumping sanctions worth billions on Washington.

The news adds to a sense of pessimism across trading floors in recent weeks as the world’s top two economic powers stand on the cusp of an all-out trade war that observers fear could batter the global economy.

It also comes as dealers struggle to deal with a brewing emerging-market financial crisis and overshadows hopeful noises from Canada that a revised Nafta deal is “imminently possible.”

Hong Kong was again among the worst performers, having fallen into a bear market Tuesday—marking a 20 percent fall from its record high touched in January.

The Hang Seng Index was down 0.4 percent while Shanghai dropped 0.3 percent to finish around levels last seen at the very beginning of 2016.

Tokyo ended 0.3 percent lower and Sydney fell 0.1 percent while Wellington and Taipei were each 0.3 percent off.

Bangkok was also lower while Seoul and Singapore were flat.

“We are concerned that trade tensions are adding to the downside risks to growth,” Sneha Sanghvi, head of Asian financial markets at Westpac, told Bloomberg TV.

“We are seeing heightened volatility and risk aversion in financial markets—that trend is likely to continue for the next few weeks.”

The losses came despite a positive lead from Wall Street, where energy firms were boosted by a more than two percent rally in oil and technology firms were supported by bargain-buying.

However, energy firms were broadly higher as oil prices benefited from a sharp drop in US inventories, looming sanctions on Iran and Hurricane Florence’s imminent impact on the Carolinas.

China said Tuesday it would ask the World Trade Organization next week for permission to impose more than $7 billion in sanctions annually on the United States over anti-dumping practices. The WTO will discuss the issue on September 21.

The case dates back to December 2013, when China took issue with the way Washington assesses whether exports have been “dumped” at unfairly low prices onto the US market.

Beijing’s call comes after Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all goods coming from China, which he says is using unfair trade practices that are harming American jobs. With AFP

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi
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