• Fed hints on rates drive PSEi lower

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    Philippine share prices tumbled on Thursday as profit-taking prevailed over the country’s robust economic performance, which analysts said was expected anyway.

    The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index, retreated by 1.42 percent or 106.97 points to end at 7,427.33, while the broader All Shares dropped by 1.17 percent or 52.56 points to end at 4,423.77.

    Jonathan Latuja, research equity analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., explained that although the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9 percent during the first three months of the year made the Philippines the fastest growing economy in the region, the performance merely came within the consensus.

    “The investors sold shares on news after GDP data, which grew by 6.9 percent during the first quarter of 2016, as it came within expectations,” Latuja said.

    In addition, he noted that the dumping of shares by the investors were likewise prompted by the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, which revealed that an upward adjustment on key interest rates may take place as early as next month, on the condition that the US economy warrants such rate hike.

    Total value turn over reached P7.8 billion, with losers upstaging winners, 127 to 66, while 52 issues remained the same.

    All sub-indices declined with mining and oil sector incurring the largest fall at 2.21 percent, followed by the property firms shedding 1.8 percent.

    Meanwhile, Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank, said that profit-taking took place as the market took the GDP news as an excuse to dump shares instead of buying in.

    “Market players have always been optimistic about 2016 GDP as election spending helped boost the numbers. Also, the result highlighted the concerns about the agriculture sector, as it fell by 4.4 percent,” Ravelas said.

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