Philippine shares were on track for a third straight session of losses as uncertainty prevailed over the country’s ties with Washington, while a continued market correction after last week’s gains also weighed on stocks. Confusion lingered over Manila’s US ties, despite President Rodrigo Duterte saying on Saturday the United States remains the Philippines’ “closest friend”, after earlier causing alarm by announcing his country’s “separation” from the US and realignment with China.
The markets were down partly on the concerns over Duterte’s statements relating to break of ties with the US although there have been some clarifications, said Joseph Roxas, president at Eagle Equities Inc in the Philippines.
The most senior US diplomat for Asia will meet the Philippines’ foreign minister on Monday, said the US embassy in Manila.
Markets were also pulling back as there was a 300-point rally last week, Roxas added.
The Philippine index fell as much as 1.03 pct to its lowest in nearly two weeks, weighed down by consumer cyclicals and financials.
Conglomerate SM Investments Corp was the biggest drag on the index, recording its biggest intraday percentage fall in more than five weeks to fall as much as 2.4 per cent.
Singapore shares snapped two sessions of losses to rise as much as 0.5 per cent, led by financials and industrials, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd and Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd rising as much as 1.3 per cent. Singapore’s headline consumer price index fell in September from a year earlier, dragged down by a decline in the cost of housing, while core inflation unexpectedly slowed to a five-month low. The all-items consumer price index (CPI) in September declined 0.2 per cent from a year earlier, after falling 0.3 per cent in August. The median forecast in a Reuters poll was a drop of 0.2 per cent.
The Malaysian and Indonesian indices were marginally higher while the Vietnamese index was down around half a per cent. Thailand is closed today for a holiday.