MANILA, Philippines—The local stock market slipped on Thursday, dragging the main index below the 6,800 level, as regional markets were spooked by weak US economic data and the fresh geopolitical tension on the Korean peninsula.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 31.58 points or 0.46 percent to close at 6,783.72.
Turnover was thin at P6.71 billion. There were 71 advancers compared with 88 decliners while 46 stocks were unchanged.
“Market is reflecting rising risk aversion,” said Banco de Oro Unibank chief strategist Jonathan Ravelas. If the next support level at 6,750 would give way, he said, this could extend the correction toward the 6,500 to 6,600 levels.
A commentary from Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. said the lack of positive trading catalysts was causing weakness in the local equities market.
“Investors are advised to trade with caution. A pullback may still continue in the interim as the market has been trading on stretched multiples,” it said.
Investors sold down shares of ALI, MPI, MWC and BPI which all declined by over 1 percent. SM Prime, EDC, Bloomberry, AC, FGEN and RLC also contributed to the slump.
On the other hand, the PSEi’s decline was tempered by the modest gains of Belle, SMC, AEV and AP.
Across the region, trading was muted by a new report showing a disappointing level of U.S. private sector hiring in March. A slower-than-expected services sector index likewise raised concerns about the U.S. economy ahead of the release of a keenly awaited US jobs report.