Stocks retreated Tuesday, following overnight losses on Wall Street, as traders await central bank meetings in Japan and the United States this week.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index, the 30-company benchmark, shed 24 points, or 0.3 percent to close at 8,024.54. Despite Tuesday’s loss, the bellwether was still up 15.4 percent since the start of the year.
Nine of the 20 most active stocks ended in the green, led by food producer Vitarich Corp. which surged 26.1 percent to P1.45 and electronics manufacturer Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp. which climbed 2.4 percent to P21.40. PLDT Inc. gained 1.9 percent to P2,100.
Meanwhile, other Asian markets fluctuated following a negative lead from Wall Street. Promises of monetary easing after last month’s shock British EU exit vote led a surge in shares—and record highs on Wall Street—but a degree of nervousness has set in as two of the biggest central banks prepare to meet.
The Federal Reserve concludes its gathering Wednesday and although it is not expected to make any big announcement, its statement will be pored over for clues about policy following a run of strong data that have fanned talk of an interest rate rise.
The Bank of Japan, which closes its meeting Friday, is widely considered to be lining up a huge addition to its already vast bond-buying scheme, sending the yen tumbling and the Nikkei index soaring this month.
However, the two reversed course Tuesday with a drop in oil prices also hitting confidence.
“A stronger yen and cheaper oil prices are likely to damp investor sentiment,” Toshihiko Matsuno, a senior strategist with SMBC Friend Securities, told Bloomberg News.
By the break Japanese stocks were down 1.6 percent with exporters hurt as the dollar fell to 104.72 yen from 105.82 yen.
Among other markets Hong Kong was 0.3 percent higher, Sydney shed 0.4 percent and Singapore was off 0.7 percent, while Shanghai added 0.6 percent and Seoul put on 0.2 percent.
US traders provided a negative lead as they also took their cash off the table after pushing multiple records on the Dow and S&P 500 over the previous two weeks.
Wall Street’s main indexes were dampened by another drop in oil prices that has been fueled by fresh worries about a global supply glut, with the US holiday driving season coming to a close and stockpiles still high.
Both main contracts fell more than 2 percent Monday, although there was a minor uptick Tuesday.
The soft oil prices filtered through to energy firms. Australia’s Woodside Petroleum lost 1.4 percent, CNOOC sank two percent in Hong Kong and Tokyo-listed Inpex dived 3.3 percent. With AFP, Bloomberg