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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Market dips, ends four-day advance

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Stocks fell Friday, ending a four-day rally, as a renewed weakening in the price of oil dampened sentiment in Asian markets.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, lost 56 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 6,792.06.  The bellwether was also down 2.3 percent since the start of the year.

The heavier index, representing all shares, also fell 21 points, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 3,917.29 Friday, on a value turnover of P6.5 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 103 to 68, while 45 issues were unchanged.

Only five of the 20 most active issues ended in the green, led by Lopez Holdings Corp., which climbed 5.1 percent to P5.57. Unit First Gen Corp. advanced 3.9 percent to P21.10.

Petron Corp. rose 2.8 percent to P9.20, while Metro Pacific Investments Corp. gained 0.9 percent to P5.90.  Port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. added 0.8 percent to close at P59.35.

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Meanwhile, most Asian markets also traded lower Friday.  US crude fell below $31 a barrel as traders digested news that American stockpiles rose to the highest in more than eight decades.

While turbulence in Asian markets has abated this week with losses earlier in the year being partially won back, investors remain on alert over the global glut in crude and China’s economic outlook.

Since the start of the year, tumbling oil prices, concern about the slowdown in Asia’s largest economy and a sell-off in bank stocks sent some global stocks into a bear market.

Markets had received welcome support earlier in the week when oil prices jumped Wednesday following a pact between top two producers Russia and Saudi Arabia to pursue a coordinated strategy to limit output.

“Sentiment on the oil market has been a key macro driver for stock-market sentiment recently,” Ric Spooner, Sydney-based chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg News.

“Concerns about the potential for credit-market problems in the event of a lower-for-longer oil scenario are near the top of a fairly long list of macro factors worrying investors at the moment.”

West Texas Intermediate slipped 0.9 percent after rising in the past two days. Brent also fell 0.9 percent.

Asia markets were also depressed Friday by a fall on Wall Street Thursday, with Tokyo plunging 2.23 percent by the break on Friday as a stronger yen dented exporters. With AFP, Bloomberg

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