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Monday, July 22, 2024

PH stocks fall on renewed ME tension

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The main composite index of the Philippine Stock Exchange closed lower Friday, falling below the 6,500 level again, on renewed tension between Israel and Iran.

The PSE index closed at 6,443.00, down 80.19 points, or 1.23 percent, while the broader all-shares index lost 34.77 points, or 1.01 percent, to end at 3,421.55.

Regina Capital Development Corp. head of sales Luis Limlingan said investor sentiment turned sour in the early trading session on reports that Israel retaliated by carrying out airstrikes against Iran.

Philstocks Financial Inc research analyst Claire Alviar said investors were forced to sell ahead of the weekend to avoid uncertainties, after two days of rebound.

All major sub-indices ended in the red, led by property (-2.55 percent), industrial (-1.55 percent) and holdings firms (-0.88 percent) except for the mining and oil index.

Net value turnover totaled P4.83 billion.

Meanwhile, oil prices rallied and Asian equities fell Friday as reports said explosions had been heard in Iran and Syria, fueling fears of an escalation of the Middle East crisis after last weekend’s missile attack on Israel by Tehran.

The reports followed another batch of data indicating the US economy remained in rude health and compounded concerns that the Federal Reserve will hold off cutting interest rates this year or even hike them again.

Traders have been on edge since Saturday’s barrage by Iran, which Israel’s army chief General Herzi Halevi warned would be met with a response.

Leaders in Tehran said the strike was a legitimate response to a deadly attack on an Iranian embassy building in Damascus that it blames on Israel.

Iran’s Fars news agency reported “three explosions” were heard near Qahjavarestan, near Isfahan airport and the 8th Shekari army airbase, while space agency spokesman Hossein Dalirian said “several” drones had been “successfully shot down”.

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