Stocks slip as Wall Street drops

The stock market fell Wednesday on profit taking after surging early in the week, weighed down by a big slump in Wall Street overnight and ignoring the lower November Philippine inflation figure. 

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 73.02 points, or 1 percent, to 7,630.90 on a value turnover of P8.3 billion. Losers edged gainers, 98 to 96, with 34 issues unchanged.

The inflation rate in November 2018 declined to a four-month low of 6 percent from a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in October, pulled down mainly by slower increases in food and fuel prices, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.

Conglomerate SM Investments Corp. of retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. lost 2 percent to P960, while unit SM Prime Holdings Corp. slipped 1.6 percent to P36.80.

San Miguel Corp. dropped 3.4 percent to P169, while Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. decreased 1.6 percent to P53.60.

The rest of Asian markets fell Wednesday following a rout on Wall Street, as investors were bombarded by a “perfect storm” of problems that erased the positivity seen at the start of the week.

The glum mood overshadowed hints from Donald Trump at more time to resolve the China-US trade row, as well as soothing comments from China about their desire to push on with a weekend agreement between the world’s top economies.

Wall Street suffered a battering, with the Dow slipping 3.1 percent, S&P 500 3.2 percent lower and Nasdaq 3.8 percent off.

The selling continued into Asia, where Hong Kong plunged 1.7 percent in the afternoon, Shanghai ended 0.6 percent lower and Tokyo was down 0.5 percent.

Singapore shed 0.8 percent and Seoul was 0.6 percent off, while Wellington dived one percent. Sydney slipped 0.8 percent after data showed the Australian economy grew at a slower pace than expected in July-September. The Australian dollar dived more than one percent.

Trading floors are awash with uncertainty over the agreement Trump hammered out with Xi Jinping to much fanfare—and an initial market rally—in Buenos Aires, with little clarity emerging and the US president shifting his tone.

While he hailed the deal at first, on Tuesday he warned on Twitter “remember, I am a Tariff Man,” adding “When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.”

Then, in another tweet he left open the door to an extension of the agreement’s 90-day timeline to end the row.

On Wednesday, China’s commerce ministry called the pact “successful” and said it “will start with the implementation of the specific matters in which consensus has been reached, the sooner the better,” without providing more details.

Adding to the mounting risks are concerns about the US economy after the difference in yields on two- and 10-year bonds narrowed, suggesting traders are increasingly concerned about longer-term prospects.

The are fears of an “inversion” where short-term yields overtake long-term rates, which in the past has been the precursor to a recession. With AFP

Topics: Wall Street , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , SM Prime Holdings Corp , San Miguel Corp , Xi Jinping , Donald Trump
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