The local stock barometer slipped ahead of a long weekend break as fresh US-China tensions over civil liberties in Hong Kong spooked regional markets.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 65.3 points or 1.17 percent to close at 5,539.19 in thin tra­ding on Friday.

For the week, the PSEi en­ded flat from last week’s finish of 5,541.95.

There will be no trading on Monday (May 25) due to a nonworking holiday in observance of Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Ramadan).

Amid renewed US-China tensions and a risk-off move ahead of the upcoming long weekend, Papa Securities no­ted that technical readings remained stagnant for the PSEi. It noted that any decisive move past the Bollinger Bands—a gauge of market volatility—should be accompanied by strong volume as well.

Across regional markets, sentiment was weighed down by concerns that China would go ahead with much-ballyhooed laws that could curb political dissent in Hong Kong, a former British crown colony that has remained a semiautonomous territory since the 1997 handover.

US President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has warned China against this move to curtail civil liberties in Hong Kong.

At the local market, value turnover was thin at P4.03 billion. There was net foreign selling of P742.14 million for the day.

All counters ended in the red, led by the financial, mining/oil and property counters, which all fell by over 1 percent.

The industrial, holding firm and services counters all slipped by less than 1 percent.

There were 125 decliners that overwhelmed 49 advan­cers, while 44 stocks were unchanged.

Among the biggest decli­ners were Metro Pacific, which fell by 4.64 percent, while Ayala Land and Security Bank both lost over 3 percent.

BDO, the day’s most actively traded company, declined by 2.61 percent, while Jollibee, Ayala Corp. and Metrobank all fell by over 2 percent.

Globe Telecom slipped by 1.67 percent, while SM Investments, URC, Puregold, BPI and ICTSI all declined by less than 1 percent.

In the other hand, conglo­merates GT Capital and JG Summit bucked the day’s downturn, both gaining over 1 percent.

Bloomberry and SM Prime likewise rose by less than 1 percent. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABA­DILLA


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