• Below-forecast GDP drags market lower

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    THE market ended the week in the red, trading lower for a second straight day as sellers dominated trade following the release of disappointing gross domestic product (GDP) data for the first quarter.

    In its daily outlook, brokerage DA Market Securities Inc. said the market is still digesting the news on the slower GDP growth.

    On Thursday, the economic planning agency announced that the country’s GDP grew at a slower pace of 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the year against the same period last year, missing the government growth target of about 6 percent.

    “There was follow-through selling given the lower-than-expected gross domestic product data on Thursday,” said Freya Natividad, investment analyst at Papa Securities.

    On Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) settled at 6,647.65, losing 29.02 points or 0.43 percent, while the wider all shares went down by 6.52 points or 0.16 percent to 3,997.57.

    Among the sectoral indices, only property and holding firms finished higher. Property gained 7.31 points or 0.28 percent to end at 2,631.68, and holding firms rose 22.66 points or 0.38 percent to 6,071.67.

    Industrials went down by 126.12 points or 1.23 percent to 10,111.97, followed by financials, which slid 14.25 points or 0.90 percent to 1,568.18. Mining and oil declined 133.17 points or 0.86 percent to 15,403.07 while and services retreated 13.53 points or 0.68 percent to 1,989.15.

    Trading volume expanded to 4.6 billion shares valued at P16.3 billion. Decliners beat advancers 98 to 66, while 52 issues were unchanged.

    Some of the most actively traded stocks on Friday were Megaworld Corp. (MEG), up 3.75 percent at P4.70 points; SM Investments Corp., up 2.95 percent at P786; Aboitiz Power Corp., down 2.70 percent at P36; and Ayala Land Inc., down 1.64 percent at P30.

    DA Market Securities indicated in a separate report that MEG shares have a bright potential as the company embarks on aggressive expansion activities over the next few years.

    “As a pioneer of the Live-Work-Play-Learn Townships, MEG continues to build its township portfolio and anchor its projects on key economic growth drivers in the next decade: BPO and tourism,” DA Market Securities said.

    Philippine shares slumped on Thursday, falling below the 6,700-points level for the first time in weeks, following the release of the weaker-than-expected GDP result for the first quarter. The PSEi sank 111.21 points or 1.64 percent to 6,676.67, while the wider all shares fell 56.55 points or 1.39 percent to 4,004.09.

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