MANILA, Aug. 22 (Thursday) -- The Philippine stock market posted its biggest drop in five years on the recent flooding that crippled the metropolis and lingering concerns over Southeast Asian economies and U.S. stimulus tapering.
After a three-day hiatus, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index plunged by 5.96 percent or 389.22 points to 6,136. 73. The broader all-share index retreated by 5.49 percent or 218. 26 poitns to 3,756.67.
Trading volume reached 2.09 billion shares worth 12.25 billion pesos (277.58 million U.S. dollars) with 165 stocks declining, 15 advancing, and 22 flat.
All six counters were down. The property sector took the biggest hit, losing as much as 7.94 percent of its value.
Analysts said fears that the U.S. Federal Reserves will trim down its 85 billion U.S. dollars stimulus program weighed on investors sentiment.
It also did not help that while the typhoon-triggered heavy monsoon rains and flooding battered Manila and other areas in northern Philippines, neighboring countries are facing economic crises.
Indonesia is facing a record current account deficit, while Thailand's economy has fallen into recession.
"Half-way throughout August, the local index is still showing that the bears are firmly in control," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said.
For now, analysts said the smart money seems to have stayed away from the local equities sending stocks in the 30-company index in the negative.
All 20 most actively traded stocks were in the red, led by Security Bank Corp., SM Investments Corp., and Alliance Global Group, Inc.