PH shares lead Asia decline, index falls below 7,000


    The local stock market fell below the 7,000 mark Tuesday, as investors watched developments abroad.

    The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 94.34 points or 1.33 percent to settle at 6,977.16.

    The stock market was covered in red, led by the mining and oil index which fell 5.37 percent.

    The peso opened at 48.07 to the dollar, and hit a low of 48.085 and a high of 48.05, before closing at 48.08, slightly weaker from 48.079 on Tuesday.

    “Local shares closed below the psychological 7,000 mark with many anxious over the new fiscal aid to be tackled this week’s (Federal) Reserve’s meeting,” said Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital Development Corp.

    “A group of moderate senators reportedly voiced concerns over the $1.9 trillion price tag of the Biden proposal and have asked the White House to consider a more targeted approach.

    Analysts expect the package to be scaled back to around $1.1 trillion,” he added.

    Tuesday’s total value turnover was at P11.558 billion.

    Market breadth, however, stayed negative as decliners beat advancers, 209 to 29, while 31 stocks were unchanged.

    The Philippines, South Korea, China and the Philippines led declines across Asia’s emerging stock markets, as investors tempered hopes for the quick passage of $1.9 trillion in US stimulus that had boosted sentiment in recent weeks.

    Markets priced in Republican lawmakers balking at the price tag of the aid package and comments from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, that the bill may be pushed through by mid-March.

    Shares in South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and China all fell more than 1 percent.

    The US dollar was steady even as Treasury yields sunk on the worries around the relief bill and as coronavirus cases surged, with Asia’s's emerging currencies flat to slightly higher.

    “At this stage, the price action looks more corrective then structural. An increase in Republican stimulus resistance will further dampen equity market spirits,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA. – With Reuters