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Market falls; MPIC climbs

Stocks slid Wednesday, following a negative lead from Wall Street and Europe, with analysts saying Britain’s shock decision to call a snap election added to global uncertainties.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, fell 66 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 7,522.98, as five of the six major sectors declined.

The heavier index, representing all shares, also tumbled 34 points, or 0.8 percent, to settle at 4,502.07, on a value turnover of P5.6 billion.  Losers outnumbered gainers, 125 to 67, while 46 issues were unchanged.

Four of the most most active stocks ended in the green, led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. which climbed 0.8 percent to P6.54 and BDO Unibank Inc. which went up 0.8 percent to P119.90.  

DMCI Holdings Inc. also advanced 0.7 percent to P11.88, while Megaworld Corp. picked up 0.3 percent to P4.

Meanwhile, most Asian stocks traded lower Wednesday amid concerns over global uncertainties. The pound held on to its gains after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap poll for June 8 as she looks to cement a mandate heading into key Brexit talks with her EU counterparts.

The move comes as France prepares for the first round of its presidential elections at the weekend, while Germany is set for a vote this year, both of which could have huge implications for the future of the eurozone.

Added to that, said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, was the face-off between the US and North Korea and the cooling of relations between Washington and Moscow over the Syria crisis.

May’s announcement “has added another layer of uncertainty for traders”, McKenna added. “It all sounds dire at the moment.”

The news sent the pound surging more than two percent against the dollar, which hammered London stocks the most since last June’s referendum to leave the EU. The FTSE fell 2.5 percent, while the Dow sank 0.6 percent on Wall Street.

By the end of the morning session in Tokyo the Nikkei index was flat.

Hong Kong slipped 0.5 percent, Shanghai sank 1.2 percent, Sydney lost 0.4 percent and Singapore gave up 0.6 percent. There were also losses in Taipei and Wellington.

Safe haven assets were also holding up as investors fret over the global outlook. Gold is up more than two percent since Donald Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian airbase 12 days ago, sparking fears of a possible conflict with Russia, which is backing the Damascus regime.

The yen was also sitting around five-month highs against the dollar.

There was a “growing wait-and-see mood due to such uncertainties as the French election and British snap poll”, said Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito in a commentary. With AFP, Bloomberg

Topics: Stock Market , Philippine Stock Exchange , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Metro Pacific Investments Corp. , MPIC
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