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Stock market slips on profit-taking

The stock market fell slightly Thursday on profit-taking, with few catalysts to drive buying and investors still on edge over a brewing trade battle between the United States and Europe.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index slipped 18.48 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,990.05 on a value turnover of just P3.1 billion after closing above 8,000 points Wednesday. Losers overwhelmed gainers, 115 to 59, with 49 issues unchanged.

Alliance Global Group Inc.of tycoon Andrew Tan dropped 3.3 percent to P15.78, while Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc. declined 2.4 percent to P2.01.

GT Capital Holdings Inc. of the Ty family lost 1.9 percent to P882.50, but major property developer Ayala Land Inc. rose 3.1 percent to P46.75.

The pound, meanwhile, held its gains Thursday in Asia after Britain and its EU partners agreed to once again extend the deadline for Brexit, days before the cut-off for avoiding an economically calamitous no-deal divorce.

Asian equity markets mostly fell. White House threats this week to hammer $11 billion worth of EU goods with tariffs jolted markets, which have been rallying this year on optimism that China and the US were close to ending their own battle.

The warning revived concerns about Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda that has taken aim at US trading partners.

Hong Kong shed 0.8 percent and Shanghai tumbled 1.6 percent despite a jump in Chinese inflation that indicated stabilization in the world’s number two economy. Sydney lost 0.4 percent and Taipei retreated 0.6 percent. There were also losses in Jakarta, Mumbai and Bangkok.

But Tokyo reversed an early loss to end 0.1 percent up, with Wellington also up. Seoul and Singapore were barely moved.

After hours of late-night talks Prime Minister Theresa May was given until the end of October to pass her deal for leaving the bloc through parliament, having failed three times already.

The extension allows for an earlier exit if May achieves it, with a review taking place on June 21.

News of the delay allowed traders to breathe a sigh of relief and the pound rose slightly soon after the deal but observers said the reprieve was only brief with the agreement merely kicking the can down the road.

“The problem for traders and investors is that the extension...  does not bring us any closer to a resolution,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at   Markets.com.

“The cliff-edge has simply been pushed back. We are in a period of peak uncertainty for UK politics and that won’t help investors pile back into UK assets.”

And there remains much uncertainty, with the prime minister under intense pressure from hardline Brexit supporters in her Conservative party not to compromise in her talks with the opposition Labour party, while the discussions are moving slowly.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “May will now have to return to the UK and make the case to her disgruntled Brexiter MPs later today that the UK will... be in the EU for another six months.

“This is not likely to go down well, which could well increase internal party maneuvers to replace her.” With AFP

Topics: stock market , Philippine Stock Exchange , PSE , Philippine Stock Exchange Index , PSEi
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