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Stocks decline further as investors pocket gains

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX closed lower on Wednesday, extending its decline to a second day, as investors booked profits from the local market’s heavyweights.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 15.26 points or 0.21% to end at 7,242.85, while the broader all shares index dropped 2.83 points or 0.06% to 4,334.93.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message that the market ended lower as investors pocketed their gains on index heavyweights such as Ayala Corp. (AC), Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), and JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

On Wednesday, shares in AC fell P21.50 or 2.56% to end at P818.50 apiece; ALI stocks declined P1.05 or 2.53% to close at P40.40 each; and stocks of JG Summit lost 30 centavos or 0.41% to end at P72 per share.

“Funds went more into second liners and speculative stocks allowing the overall market to have a positive breadth,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

Advancers bested decliners yesterday, 131 against 105, while 37 names ended unchanged.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the market closed lower as investors were on a “wait and see” mode.

“Volatility on blue chips continues to die down while second and third liners remain extremely active. Investors are waiting until economic activity can justify current blue chip valuations before buying any higher,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

“The main index has stalled every time it climbed above 7,200. There is still a lot of uncertainty and we will not see the market go higher until we see more good news,” he added.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez said at a virtual meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Tuesday that preliminary data showed the national government’s budget deficit reached P1.36 trillion or around 7.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Majority of sectoral indices finished lower on Wednesday, except for mining and oil, which rose 207.83 points or 2.13% to 9,954.71, and financials, which improved 21.99 points or 1.49% to 1,490.08.

Meanwhile, property retreated 43.65 points or 1.16% to 3,695.47; industrials declined 42.63 points or 0.44% to 9,546.44; services went down 2.61 points or 0.16% to 1,538.85; and holding firms lost 11.46 points or 0.15% to 7,413.42.

Value turnover reached P9.17 billion on Wednesday with 17.08 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P9.74 billion with 41.52 billion issues seen in the previous trading session.

Net foreign selling amounted to P220.06 million yesterday, higher than the P25.03 million worth of net outflows logged on Tuesday.

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