Stocks fell Tuesday to end a three-day advance, as investors assess the prospects of US interest-rate increase.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, dropped 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 7,294.52. Four of the six sectoral indices declined, with only financials and services gaining slightly.
The heavier index, representing all shares, also fell 14 points, or 0.3 percent, to settle at 4,400.57, on a value turnover of P8.4 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 109 to 82, while 40 issues were unchanged.
Eight of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Globe Telecom Inc. which climbed 3.5 percent to P1,899 and Security Bank Corp. which rose 2.4 percent to P206.80. BDO Unibank Inc. added 1.8 percent to close at P121.60.
Meanwhile, investors in most Asian markets built on the previous day’s advance Tuesday but with caution hanging in the air the gains were limited by concerns over Donald Trump’s lack of detail on economic policy as well as geopolitical risks.
Analysts said Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst accusing his predecessor Barack Obama of tapping his phones during the election campaign had also spooked investors, while the dollar was unable to break past 114 yen despite a US interest rate hike all but certain.
While Trump’s speech to Congress last week fired optimism that he would press on with a big-spending, tax-cutting program, he has provided nothing in the way of color since.
Adding to the sense of trepidation were Trump’s claims about Obama and his call for Congress to investigate the unsubstantiated allegations, as well as the leaking of classified information linked to the tycoon’s ties with Russia.
“After a spectacular performance addressing the joint sitting of Congress put the Trump presidency back on track, the weekend tweets reminded everyone that this Russian question needs to be addressed and answered,” Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader, said in a note.
“It also reminded investors that there are distractions which could slow down the execution and implementation of the tax and infrastructure spending plans they have put so much faith in recently,” McKenna said.
US shares, which last week touched record highs, started this week in the red, with all three main indexes down, while European markets also retreated on profit-taking and concerns about financial giant Deutsche Bank.
Eyes now turn to the release Friday of US jobs data, which will provide fresh clues about the Federal Reserve’s plans for monetary policy, which comes after China unveils economic figures Wednesday.
Asian markets were mostly higher, with Hong Kong adding 0.3 percent in the afternoon, Shanghai ending 0.3 percent up and Sydney 0.3 percent higher while Seoul put on 0.6 percent.
However Tokyo shed 0.2 percent, extending Monday’s losses that came after North Korea’s quadruple missile launch, three of which landed in Japanese-controlled waters, stoking regional security fears.
Wellington, Manila and Jakarta were also down.
Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management, told Bloomberg News: “We’re yet to see what the latest non-farm payrolls data look like. With Bloomberg, AFP