• PSEi little changed in shortened session

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    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed marginally lower on Thursday in a session that was interrupted by technical problems.

    The benchmark stock index dipped 0.007 percent or 0.54 points to 7,268.95, while the All Shares index eased 0.08 percent or 3.53 points to 4,271.18.

    Market trading was halted from 1:46 pm to 2:30 pm for unspecified technical issues with PSEi’s systems.

    Overnight, the US markets were slightly down as well — the Dow Jones lost 2.09 points, the S&P 500 decreased 3.08 points, and the Nasdaq erased 26.73 points — on worries ahead of the US Federal Reserve minutes, with investors speculating interest rates would be raised.

    Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said in a brief phone interview that the market was flat as investors further cashed in on gains, factoring in the negative US, European and Japan markets.

    “The market was flat as some investors just opted for profit taking,” del Castillo said.

    Jason Escartin of F. Yap Securities Inc., for his part, said that the market was mixed as investors “are seemingly divided whether to seize on the bourse’s sideways movement to accumulate, or prepare their cash for 2015 positioning.”

    “It would be prudent for to wait until notable improvements are seen in terms of aggregate turnover, and market breadth has already tilted in favor of bulls,” he added.

    Subindices were mixed. Gainers were industrials, up 0.15 percent or 17.37 points to 11,732.65; services also went up 0.15 percent or 3.15 points to 2,145.02; and property increased 0.08 percent or 2.22 points to 2,892.50.

    The rest were losers: Financials slipped by 0.06 percent or 1.04 points to 1,723.04; holding firms decreased 0.21 percent or 13.02 points to 6,307.22; and mining and oil edged lower 0.03 percent or 4.26 points to 15,532.07.

    Ayala Corp. was the biggest loser in Thursday’s trade, down 4.88 percent or P35 to close at P682 each, on having a shares placement at a 5 percent discount from its 30-day weighted average. Other active losers were Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc., Southeast Asia Cement Holdings Inc., BDO Unibank Inc., Premium Leisure Corp. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

    The active gainers, on the other hand, were PLDT, Universal Robina Corp., GT Capital Holdings Inc. and Alliance Global Group Inc.

    Decliners outnumbered advancers, 98 to 84, while the unchanged stood at 42 shares. Total volume was at 5.11 billion shares, valued at P21.09 billion.

    Despite gaining in the most of earlier trades, the PSEi slipped by 0.09 percent or 6.17 points to 7,269.49 on Wednesday, while the All Shares index likewise dipped by 0.03 percent or 1.34 points to 4,274.71.

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