Local stocks dived along with other Asian markets as simmering concerns over the health of the global financial system soured sentiment, even as a Swiss-backed rescue plan for Credit Suisse materialized over the weekend.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at 6,451.02, down by 18.70 points or 0.29 percent, while the broader All Shares index slipped to 3,456.66, lower by 7.61 points or 0.22 percent.
A total of P5.632 billion worth of shares changed hands, with losing stocks outnumbering gainers, 99 to 73, while 55 issues were unchanged.
April Tan of COL Financial said the local market's fall followed 'the weak performance of other Asian markets.'
Investors likewise remained jittery over the uncertainty hounding banking industry in the US.
'Local shares slid as investors pulled back from positions in First Republic Bank and other bank shares amid lingering concerns over the state of the US banking sector,' said Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital. Asian markets are seen as anxious over developments surrounding the global financial system assuming that 'we are not out of the woods yet,' said Robert Carnell, regional head of research, Asia Pacific at ING.
This developed as the Philippine central bank could decide to opt for a narrower 25 basis points (bps) interest rate hike or keep policy settings unchanged at its meeting this week, amid uncertainties in the global banking system, the country's finance minister said.
Global financial markets are reeling from a string of bank failures and fears of contagion at a time when many central banks are hiking interest rates to battle elevated inflation.
'There's very little contagion on the Philippine side and in fact it can be a positive in the sense that central banks are likely to ease on hiking of interest rates,' Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno told a forum organized by foreign journalists.
Regulators globally have moved to reassure markets by pledging to enhance liquidity, and Swiss authorities pushed UBS Group on Sunday to buy rival Credit Suisse Group.
Traders have priced in about a 60 percent chance that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at a policy meeting this week before embarking on a steady series of cuts as soon as June.
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