PH shares fall ahead of GDP data

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Philippine shares dropped on Monday, dragged by profit-taking on the first trading day of the week as cautious investors adjusted their holdings ahead of the release of the country’s first-quarter 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) data.

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The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 20.91 points or 0.31 percent to close at 6,790.42, while the broader all shares dropped 10.12 points or 0.25 percent to 4,053.51.

Lexter Azurin, Unicapital Securities Inc. research head, said the market has entered a consolidation phase as investors await the economic data due for release later this week.

“The market is waiting for one major data and that is the GDP result,” Azurin said. “As of the moment, expect the market to consolidate further after several days of run-up the previous week.”

However, Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. believes anticipation of the GDP figure should provide a legitimate boost to the market in succeeding trades.

“Betting on the Philippine economy’s Q1 performance will add further spin [to the market],” Calaycay said.

Practically all the local sectoral indices ended lower except industrials which finished flat, up by just 8.09 points or 0.08 percent to 10,334.10.

Mining and oil retreated 111.37 points or 0.71 percent to 15,631.64, followed by financials, down 8.10 points or 0.51 percent to 1,595.17. Holding firms fell 19.47 points or 0.32 percent to 6,142.60, and services lost 4.49 points or 0.22 percent to 2,039.18. Property slipped 4.59 points or 0.17 percent to 2,692.67.

Participation thinned, with only 950 million shares worth P7.2 billion changing hands. Decliners beat advancers 97 to 69, with 51 issues unchanged.

Some of the most actively traded stocks on Monday were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., down 1.04 percent at P86.00; Universal Robina Corp., down 0.59 percent at P151.10; Double Dragon Properties Corp., up 1.52 percent at P10.00; and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., down 0.07 percent at P2,900.

On Friday, profit-taking also sent the main index lower, with the PSEi settling down 19.25 points or 0.28 percent to 6,811.33 and the broader all shares losing 10.09 points or 0.25 percent to 4,063.63.

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