• Philippine shares slide on inflation rate report

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    The high inflation rate for December caused stock market investors to cash in their gains, pulling the country’s benchmark index to a lower level.

    On Tuesday, the Philippine Stock Exchange index retreated by 0.64 percent, or 38.37 points to 5,947.44, while the broader all-shares index lost 0.69 percent, or 25.34 points to 3,645.10.

    Elizabeth Abadillo, analyst at Angping and Associates Securities Inc., said in a text message that the market ended in negative territory mostly because of profit-taking ahead of the US Federal Reserve tapering.

    She also said that the inflation data that was released also on Tuesday clearly put on weight on the sensitive movement of Philippines stocks.

    The country’s inflation rate in December surged to highest level in two years due to the destruction caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda in the central part of the Philippines.

    The National Statistics Office reported on Tuesday that inflation in December was at 4.1 percent, the highest since December 2011 when the country’s inflation rate was at 4.2 percent.

    Except for mining and oil, the rest of the sectoral indices hesitated to settle on the green side. Industrial posted the largest drop, falling by 1.68 percent, or 150.62 points to 8,825.32, followed by services, which went down by 0.65 percent, or 12.15 points to 1,850.94.

    Holding firms slipped by 0.60 percentl or 32.82 points to 5,445.17, and financials plummeted by 0.31 percent, or 4.56 points to end at 1,467.08. Property registered a 0.30-percent decrease, or 6.78 points to 2,240.48.

    Mining and oil, however, moved a bit forward with a 0.40-percent improvement, or 50.86 points to 12,805.10.

    Market activity turned a bit more active with total value turnover standing higher at P5.1 billion, though decliners beat advancers, 92 to 65.

    Some of the top losers on Tuesday were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Universal Robina Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Philippine National Bank, Alliance Global Group Inc., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Jollibee Foods Corp.

    Philippine shares started the first full week trade of 2014 on the green side despite the absence of catalysts that can push the benchmark index up or pull it downward.

    The PSEi went up on Monday, rising by 0.64 percent, or 37.88 points to 5,985.81, while the wider all-shares barometer went up by 0.62 percent, or 22.53 points to 3,670.44.

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