Philippine stocks tumble as U.S.-China trade war heats up

MANILA, Philippines – Most counters were in the red at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, May 14.

The benchmark index ended the day at 7,646.66, 1.23% lower from the closing figures last Friday, May 10. At one point during the trading day, it even slipped to 7,577.72.

All shares (-1.14%), financials (-3.05%), industrial (-0.72%), holding firms (-2.31%), and services (0.03%) all went down as well.

Mining and oil (1.19%) and property (0.94%) managed to stay afloat in the green.

The most actively traded stocks were Jollibee (-0.07%), Ayala Land (2.02%), International Container Terminal Services (2.41%), Ayala Corporation (-1.1%), and BDO (-4.12%). 

Luis Limlingan, managing director of Regina Capital, said the results of the 2019 midterm elections had little effect on the local bourse.

He attributed the decline to the trade war between the United States and China. (READ: Weak demand, U.S.-China trade war hamper Philippines' top export)

"With the midterm election now out of the way, most fund managers looked overseas, where most of the major market-making activity was happening. There were also some major winners and losers which were the result of the latest [Morgan Stanley Capital International] rebalancing announcement," Limlingan said.

Meanwhile, BDO chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said his initial positive outlook regarding the elections did not pan out due to the trade war.

"The election result should have been positive for the markets, as the vote of confidence gives the President more room to speed up reforms, but the trade war is casting a shadow of worry," Ravelas said. 

He said investors should look at whether the index would break below 7,500.

"A break of this support level could call for further losses towards the 7,000 to 7,300 levels," Ravelas said.

In a GMA News Online article, Philstocks Financial research analyst Japhet Tantiangco said some investors may have been spooked by the 2019 election results, seeing it as a "loss of checks and balances in the government." – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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