PH stocks drop in ‘healthy correction’

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Shares opened in upbeat Tuesday trade, with Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino talking up the market, but prices later yielded to profit-taking pressure in what traders described as a “healthy correction” given recent record-breaking runs.

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On Tuesday, the benchmark PSE index opened little changed but eventually slipped to
close down 16.76 points or 0.21 percent at 8,056.49, the second day of a decline. The All Shares index shed 10.84 points or 0.23 percent to 4,605.92.

Aquino visited the PSE early in the day for a bell-ringing ceremony to mark the market’s record-breaking performance to breach the 8,000-point level earlier this month, going up further to the 8,100-level on Friday.

The President said he hopes to see the Philippine stock market reaching “greater heights” before the end of his term, trading in the 9,000 to 10,000-point range toward 2016. (see today’s banner story on B1)

April Lynn Tan, head of research at online brokerage firm COL Financial Group Inc., said in a brief phone interview Tuesday’s trade was dragged by investors who opted to take profit as prices looked overbought.

“It’s just profit-taking. There are no [negative]events and happenings. It’s generally a healthy correction for the market in the sense that it is technically overbought already,” Tan said.

“Even before, as the market began to rally, the upside was not broad-based — they [investors]were selective, [trading on a]per-stock basis only. And that’s a sign of weakness,” she said.

Tan sees the market facing a “short-term correction” in the next few days, which she said should be healthy for prices to gather new momentum for growth in the long term.
Holding firms were the sole gainers among the counters, while mining and oil led the declines with a 2.39 percent loss.

Among the most actively traded stocks, Ayala Corp., Megaworld Corp., Universal Robina Corp., BDO Unibank Inc., SM Investments Corp., Energy Development Corp. and Robinsons Land Corp recorded the biggest losses. Ayala Land Inc. finished flat, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company and GT Capital Holdings Inc. gained.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 105 to 67, while 44 issues closed unchanged. Total trade volume stood at 1.16 billion shares, valued at P8.41 billion.

On Monday, the benchmark stock index dipped 0.67 percent or 54.23 points to 8,073.25, while the All Shares index shed 0.40 percent or 18.62 points to 4,616.76.

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