• PH shares retreat from 7,000 on profit-taking

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    Philippine shares ended lower on Tuesday as investors decided to cash in their gains after the market touched 7,000 points the previous day, with Wall Street’s fall overnight also keeping sentiment subdued.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished at 6,948.52, down 50.58 points or 0.72 percent, while the wider all shares lost 22.11 points or 0.53 percent to 4,158.21.

    First Grade Finance Inc. managing director Astro del Castillo said the market was susceptible to profit-taking, especially after hitting 7,000 points on Monday.

    ”For Tuesday’s trade, the market experienced profit-taking after the index has hit the 7,000 level. We also trailed the weakness felt on Wall Street,” Papa Securities Corp. investment analyst Freya Natividad said in a phone interview.

    Moving forward, Natividad said investors may start repositioning for the second half, a move that could trigger testing of the 7,000-psychological mark anew.

    All sectoral indices suffered losses. Mining and oil was down 177.42 points or 1.07 percent at 16,462.02 and properties fell 27.73 points or 1.03 percent to 2,651.49.

    Holding firms dropped 48.79 points or 0.77 percent to 6,302.20, while financials slipped 9.37 points or 0.56 percent to end at 1,671.34.

    Services declined 10.95 points or 0.52 percent to 2,083.60, and industrials lost 40.41 points or 0.39 percent to 10,457.85.

    Market participation thinned with only 2.5 billion shares worth P6.3 billion changing hands. Decliners beat advancers 116 to 64, while 45 issues were unchanged.

    Some of the most actively traded stocks were Ayala Land Inc., down 1.43 percent at P30.95; Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., down 0.60 percent at P3,002; Megaworld Corp., down 0.21 percent ata P4.72; Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., down 0.39 percent at P90.35; Universal Robina Corp., up 0.19 percent at P158.80; and Vitarich Corp., up 28.74 percent at P1.12.

    The shares of agribusiness firm Vitarich surged after the company announced it could wipe out its debts by the end of this year. The company has filed a petition with the rehabilitation court asking it to declare that its rehabilitation has been completed.

    Vitarich used to be the leader in the poultry industry but was placed under corporate rehabilitation in 2007 due to liquidity problems triggered by the Asian currency crisis and the outbreak of avian flu in 2003.

    The main index briefly touched 7,000 points in morning trade on Monday on upbeat sentiment following last week’s rally on overseas markets, a lower-than-expected domestic inflation figure in June, and expectations of better second-quarter corporate earnings.

    Quick profit-taking in the afternoon session trimmed the gains, but the main index still finished trade higher by 36.82 points or 0.53 percent at 6,999.10, while the wider all shares gained 20.83 points or 0.50 percent to 4,180.32.

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