Stocks fell for a sixth day, as oil held near a three-week low and amid growing expectation the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, dropped 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 7,445.14 Thursday. This reduced total gains this year to 7.1 percent.
The heavier index, representing all shares, also shed 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 4,419.30, on a value turnover of P6.5 billion. Losers outnumbered gainers, 102 to 75, while 41 issues were unchanged.
Four of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by Security Bank Corp. which climbed 3.7 percent to P222 and oil refiner Petron Corp. which advanced 2.9 percent to P10.50.
BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender, rose 0.8 percent to P112.80, while conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. added 0.4 percent to close at P76.70.
Meanwhile, most Asian markets also turned lower Thursday, with energy firms struggling after another sell-off in oil fueled by concerns about a planned output cut.
Crude prices are slumbering at three-month lows after OPEC member Iraq and non-member Russia suggested this week they would not take part in any limitations, despite a painful global supply glut.
Their comments have raised questions about the viability of last month’s agreement by oil cartel OPEC to reduce output, that had sent prices soaring.
While edging up slightly Thursday, both main contracts have tumbled more than three percent this week and news that US stockpiles had fallen more than expected last week was unable to provide much support.
“Iraqi demands to join the list of countries exempted from quotas have simply added to the uncertainty” that an output cut can be implemented, Research firm Capital Economics said in a commentary.
“We have long been skeptical of the chances of a game-changing deal and continue to forecast that both Brent and WTI will end the year back at around $45 per barrel.”
Regional energy firms extended recent losses. Hong Kong-listed CNOOC sank almost three percent, with traders also selling on the back of a weak earnings report.
PetroChina lost 2.4 percent in Hong Kong, while Sydney-listed Woodside Petroleum was 1.5 percent off and Santos lost two percent.
Among regional markets Tokyo ended down 0.3 percent after closing Wednesday at a six-month high.
Japanese IT firm Fujitsu was the stand-out performer, soaring almost eight percent on news it was in talks to merge its struggling PC unit with Chinese computer giant Lenovo. With AFP, Bloomberg