Local stocks slid below the 6,000-mark anew Wednesday, the last day of the so-called “ghost month,” due to jitters arising from the increasing likelihood of a US military strike against Syria.
The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 115.58 points or 1.9 percent to close at 5,968.33. Other markets in the region also tumbled sharply in morning trade but some pared or even reversed their losses later in the session ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s release of its latest commentary on economic conditions or “Beige book.”
“Ghost month ends today with most Asian markets in negative territory as threat of a limited strike on Syria seemed imminent,” stock brokerage Regional Capital said in its Twitter account.
Aside from the PSEi, among the worst hit equity markets yesterday were those of Indonesia (-2 percent) and Singapore (-1 percent).
The Philippines, being a net oil importer, could be adversely affected by higher oil prices in case a war erupts in the Middle East, dealers said. On Tuesday, Russian state-owned news agencies said their radar systems had detected two “ballistic objects” fired from the central Mediterranean toward the eastern part of the sea.
At the local market, there were thrice as many decliners for every single gainer. Value turnover amounted to P6 billion.
The biggest PSEi decliners were San Miguel Corp. and DMCI, which both fell more than 4 percent, while Energy Development Corp., SM Prime, Bloomberry, Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Aboitiz Power slumped over 3 percent. JG Summit, SM Investments Corp. and Globe Telecom all slipped more than 2 percent.
The day’s most actively traded stocks were the most valuable companies in the local market—SMIC (-2.71 percent) and PLDT (-2.11 percent), which both weighed the index down.
Among the most actively traded companies, two banks (both non-PSEi) defied the day’s downturn—PNB (+3.02 percent) and RCBC (+1.22 percent). Doris C. Dumlao