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Market declines for 4th straight day

Share prices extended their slump Thursday for the fourth consecutive day as investors re-arranged their portfolios in cautious trading amid the trade war between the US and China.  

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 69.95 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,576.71 on a value turnover of P7.2 billion. Losers edged gainers, 98 to 92, with 52 issues unchanged.

Holcim Philippines Inc., the local unit of Switzerland-based cement giant LafargeHolcim Ltd., fell 4.3 percent to P14.36, while DMCI Holdings Inc. declined 3.1 percent to P9.86.

Jollibee Foods Corp., the biggest fast-food chain lost 3.2 percent to P293, but casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. rallied 5.6 percent to P10.98.

Meanwhile, a series of tweets by Donald Trump playing up the chances of a trade deal with China provided a much-needed boost to Asian equities Wednesday but investors trod cautiously as analysts warned of more volatility to come.

After more than doubling tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week—sparking retaliation from Beijing—the US president has threatened to hit a further $300 billion with more levies if he does not get his way in high-stakes talks.

However, in a series of tweets Tuesday, Trump gave markets some hope that a deal between the economic titans will eventually be struck.

“When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” he wrote, adding that his “respect and friendship with President Xi (Jinping) is unlimited.”

He went on to say: “We can make a deal with China tomorrow before their companies start leaving so as not to lose USA business” and said it would be “game over” if the Federal Reserve “matched” Chinese support measures.

The remarks, while again accusing China of backsliding in the trade talks, provided some optimism, while weak data out of China on industrial output, retail sales and investment highlighted weakness in the economy but fuelled hopes for growth-boosting measures.

Shanghai ended 1.9 percent higher and Hong Kong put on one percent in the afternoon.

“This sharp slowdown increases the likelihood that we will probably see further attempts by China to help stimulate its economy, as well as raising concerns that any hopes of a Chinese economic rebound helping to prompt a global pickup in economic activity look a little bit forlorn at this point in time,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Tokyo climbed 0.6 percent, Sydney rose 0.7 percent and Seoul added 0.5 percent.

Seoul, Taipei, Wellington and Mumbai were also well in positive territory but Singapore and Jakarta fell.

Both the US and China have said they will resume talks in Beijing but with no date yet set, dealers are looking ahead to a possible meeting between Trump and Xi at the G20 in Japan at the end of June.

“It’s just too early to tell if this is a buy (on equity markets), on slightly oversold conditions, or if it’s the start of stabilization,” Gina Martin Adams, chief equity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, told Bloomberg TV.  With AFP

Topics: Philippine Stock Exchange Index , Holcim Philippines Inc. , LafargeHolcim Ltd. , Jollibee Foods Corp.
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