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PH, Asian stock markets decline

Stocks fell for the second straight day in step with the rest of Asia, with investors looking for a catalyst to shore up the market amid global uncertainties.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index tumbled 95.58 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,535.32 on a value turnover of P7.2 billion. Losers beat gainers, 113 to 74, with 50 issues unchanged.

GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the late tycoon George Ty dropped 3.5 percent to P940, while SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. lost 3.5 percent to P35.50.

Conglomerate Ayala Corp. declined 2.7 percent to P934, while Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, fell 2.2 percent to P127.

The rest of shares across Asia plunged Thursday, with Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed technology firms battered, after the arrest of a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei that has fueled fears about the recent China-US trade deal.

As Donald Trump and Xi Jinping’s tariffs ceasefire last weekend—which sparked a one-day rally—fades to a distant memory, investors are back in selling mood as they fret over a range of issues including the state of the world economy, oil prices and Brexit.

Broader markets, which have also been hit by worries that the US economy is showing signs of slowing, were well down.

Hong Kong shed 2.7 percent while Shanghai closed down 1.7 percent and Tokyo slipped 1.9 percent.  Taipei was 2.3 percent off, while Jakarta also dived.

Sydney fell 0.2 percent, while Singapore sank 1.5 percent and Seoul gave up 1.6 percent.

The chances of trade peace between the US and China took a blow Thursday as it emerged Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou had been held in Canada and faces extradition to the United States over alleged Iran sanctions breaches by the firm.

Meng is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese People’s Liberation Army engineer.

The company had been investigated by US intelligence, who deemed it a national security threat.

The arrest drew a swift response from China, which said it “firmly opposes  and strongly protests” the move, adding it had urged Canada and the US to “immediately correct the wrongdoing.”

Tech security is one of the key sticking points in the months-long trade row between the world’s top two economies.

The news sent shudders through Hong Kong and Shanghai markets, where tech firms were hammered.

Hong Kong-listed ZTE, which was subject to a US banning order over security fears earlier this year before that was reduced to a massive fine, was eight percent down. Market heavyweight Tencent was 5.3 percent lower, while AAC Technologies and Sunny Optical—a supplier to Huawei—each plunged around six percent.

And in Shanghai, Wingtech Technology was down by its daily limit of 10 percent, while Raisecom Technology and Fujian Raynen Technology both dived more than four percent.

Taipei-listed tech firms were also hurt. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company lost 2.7 percent and Hon Hai Precision was 3.6 percent lower. With AFP

Topics: Stocks , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , GT Capital Holdings , George Ty , Henry Sy , Ayala Corp
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