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PSEi drops to 6,900 on US-Saudi tensions

THE stock market fell back to the 6,900 level on Monday as investor sentiment was dented by political tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) traded most of the day in the green before falling by 1.12 percent or 78.26 points to close at 6,926.51.

The broader All Shares dropped by 0.59 percent or 25.22 points to finish at 4,276.58.

Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said investors sold as tensions between US and Saudi escalated over the disappearance of The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“[It] kept investors in a wait-and-see mode,” Limlingan said.

US President Donald Trump warned over the weekend that Washington would resort to strong measures versus Saudi Arabia it found the latter responsible for the disappearance and alleged murder of Khashoggi.

Turkish authorities believe that Saudi Arabia had a hand in the disappearance of Khashoggi, who was last seen on October 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Regional markets were down on Monday except for Bangkok, which grew by 0.79 percent.

Tokyo dropped by 1.87 percent, Shanghai decreased 1.49 percent, Hong Kong declined 1.38 percent, Seoul fell 0.77 percent, Jakarta dipped 0.29 percent, and Singapore shed 0.60 percent.

In a separate comment, Papa Securities Corp. trader Gabriel Jose Perez pointed to foreign selling as again having dragged down the index.

Foreign funds bought P1.9 billion issues and sold P2.65 billion for a net selling position of P738 million.

“With the index closing below the psychological 7,000 level, our next support should be in the area of its most recent low of 6,790. [The] immediate factor to watch out for would be how US markets perform tonight for a possible indication of tomorrow’s movement for the PSEi,” Perez said.

All sectors except for the mining and oil, closed in the red territory.

Volume turnover stood at 542 million issues valued at P4.4 billion.

Winners led losers, 106 to 84, while 41 issues were unchanged.


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