The stock market fell slightly Friday on profit taking, taking its cue from the retreat of New York’s main indexes overnight.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index lost 5.59 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,281.27 on a value turnover of P6.2 billion. Losers beat gainers, 109 to 93, with 47 issues unchanged.
Nickel Asia Corp., the biggest nickel miner, tumbled 7.1 percent to P7.19, while Bloomberry Resorts Corp. dropped 3 percent to P10.50.
PXP Energy Corp., a unit of Philex Mining Corp., jumped 27.5 percent to P7.75, while Cebu Landmasters Inc. advanced 3.6 percent to P5.23.
The rest of Asian markets turned lower Friday as investors cashed in at the end of a mostly positive week while the dollar weakened against its main peers with analysts questioning the chances of a third US interest rate hike this year.
Adding to the selling pressure were renewed geopolitical worries after North Korea said it might consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.
Global equities tracked broadly higher over the past five days on easing geopolitical tensions and Wall Street notched up several records, while the greenback soared on a hawkish Federal Reserve meeting.
However, dealers headed in to the weekend a little subdued after New York’s main indexes fell, while a second downgrade of China’s debt rating Thursday also added to the negative feeling. The agency also slashed Hong Kong’s prime AAA rating Friday.
Hong Kong slipped 0.7 percent in the afternoon and Shanghai ended 0.2 percent off, while Seoul lost 0.7 percent. Tokyo was 0.3 percent lower, snapping a four-day winning streak, but Sydney edged up 0.5 percent.
In early European trade London and Frankfurt each fell 0.2 percent but Paris rose 0.2 percent.
There was a sense of worry after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.
“I think that it could be an H-bomb test at an unprecedented level perhaps over the Pacific,” he said but added: “It is up to our leader so I do not know well.”
The report comes after Kim Jong-Un called Donald Trump “mentally deranged” and said he would make the tycoon “pay dearly” for threatening to destroy his country during the US president’s United Nations speech this week.
The outburst came hours after the US unveiled new tougher sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
The comments revived the stand-off between the US and North Korea earlier in the month after the North tested a nuclear bomb and ratcheted up tensions in the region.
The dollar slid back after recent gains against the yen, pound and euro. The greenback rallied after the Fed on Wednesday announced a timetable to wind up its huge bond-buying stimulus program and hinted at a third rate hike this year by December.
Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said there was skepticism that the central bank will be able to lift borrowing costs again this year at the same time as tapering its stimulus, which was put in place during the global financial crisis to keep long-term rates down. With AFP