PH shares slip ahead of US jobs data

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The local bourse slipped on Friday on extended profit-taking and caution ahead of the release of US employment data while investors mostly ignored benign domestic inflation numbers for March.

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“Despite a lower inflation result in March, investors still chose to cash in their profits,” Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance, said in a phone interview.

Inflation in March decelerated to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent in February, the National Statistics Office reported.

According to del Castillo, caution ahead of the release of US jobs growth for March weighed on Asian markets and was one of the reasons why the local bourse settled at the 6,500-mark after earlier hitting 6,600 points during the morning session.

On Friday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 25.88 points or 0.39 percent to 6,561.20 while the wider all shares slipped 7.55 points or 0.19 percent to 3,948.94.

“[The] market was slightly lower by 25 points. Profit-taking ensued given the heavy four to five up days we have recently seen. Regional markets were lower too, similarly on profit-taking,” COL Financial vice president Juanis Barredo said.

Except for industrial and mining and oil which managed modest gains, most of the sectoral indices posted declines. Services went down by 18.41 points or 0.94 percent or to 1,946.65, followed by property, which retreated 9.53 points or 0.36 percent to 2,611.62. Financials declined 3.93 points or 0.26 percent to 1,533.28, while holding firms fell 14.86 or 0.25 percent to end at 5,960.55.

On the other hand, industrials gained 26.36 points or 0.26 percent to 10,042.42, while mining and oil added 13.06 points or 0.09 percent to 14,779.53.

A total of 2.1 billion shares were traded on Friday valued at P7.9 billion, with gainers outnumbering losers 89 to 70.

Some of the most actively traded shares were SM Prime Holdings Inc., whose shares fell 0.65 percent to P15.40 each; Ayala Land Inc., whose share price dipped 0.63 percent to P31.40 apiece; Energy Development Corp., whose shares closed unchanged at P5.64; and SM Investment Corp., whose shares rose 0.63 percent to P724.50 apiece.

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