Stock market drops attributed to int'l trade tensions, Ressa arrest

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 15) — It has often been said that the stock market is driven by sentiment.

Shaky conditions both in the Philippines and abroad have led the Philippine Stock Exchange index to stay under the 8,000 mark. It ended the week at 7,965.17 points, with most sub-indices in the red.

The holding firms, and property sectors barely stayed in the green.

Analysts say that investors have been profit-taking in the past few days, selling the more expensive shares in their portfolio.

On the local front, some investors may have been alarmed by the sudden arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on Wednesday.

"Considering that it came out two days ago, and there was a net foreign selling two days ago, I would say that there was some effect on some foreign investors- those who are really concerned about press freedom and human rights," said Joey Reyes, president of Eagle Equities in an interview on CNN Philippines Business Roundup.

Abroad, investors may have been disappointed by weak retail figures from the U.S.

"Developments from abroad kept the market in a wait-and-see mode heading into the weekend. The disappointment over weak retail sales overshadowed optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, but the Nasdaq eked out gains to rise for a fifth session in a row," Limlingan said.

Analysts expect trading to continue to stay flat or to dip slightly lower in the coming days, with a possible rally in March.

CNN Philippines business correspondent Mike Alimurung contributed to this report.