EQUITIES RETREAT ON ABSENCE OF LEADS

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After a slight improvement on Wednesday, Philippine shares retreated anew as market participants failed to find new leads.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went down on Thursday, falling by 0.82 percent, or 48.97 points to 5,937.51, while the wider all-shares index went down by 0.67 percent, or 24.54 points to 3,643.05.

“The PSEi continues to fail to overcome selling pressure at the approach to the 6,000-[point]mark, as investors’ wait for fresh catalysts to trades. The main gauge of Philippine stocks has been moving sideways, confined inside the 5,900 to 6,000 [point]range since the start of the new year,” Jun Calaycay, Accord Capital Equities, Corp. analyst, said.

According to Calaycay, the US Federal Reserve’s tapering of its bond-buding program remains the single best influence in early 2014 trades, continuing a role it started in May last year.

Overseas, US stocks tumbled anew as investors read into the Fed’s mind from last meeting’s minutes. European shares also closed lower.

On the local side, majority of the sectoral indices also ended on the red side except for services, which improved a bit by 0.21 percent, or 3.89 points to 1,867.79.

Financials, on the other hand, fell hard by 2.07 percent, or 30.33 points to 1,438.45, followed by property, which was reduced by 1.11 percent, or 25.17 points to 2,247.26.

Holdings firms also decreased by 0.78 percent, or 42.85 points to 5,427.56, while mining and oil lost 0.42 percent, or 53.79 points to 12,827.40. The industrial counter ended flat with a 0.28-percent decline, or 25.06 points to 8,878.70.

Market breadth almost remained the same at P5.1 billion with decliners significantly outnumbering advancers, 93 to 48. Forty-nine issues were unchanged.

Some of the top losers on Thursday were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., International Container Terminal Services Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Land Inc., Megaworld Corp., SM Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., Manila Electric Co., BDO Unibank Inc., and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Philippine shares made it to the green side during the mid-week as global sentiments turned positive.

On Wednesday, the PSEi rebounded with a 0.66-percent increase or 39.04 points to 5,986.48, while the broader all-shares index went up by 0.62 percent, or 22.49 points to 3,667.59.

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