• PSEi stretches decline

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    THE benchmark index extended its losses on Tuesday, tracking the rout in overseas markets amid worries about the global economic outlook.

    But the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) managed to end off its lows thanks to bargain hunting interest in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Universal Robina Corp. (URC).

    The PSEi lost 22.03 points or 0.32 percent to 6,946.06, off a low of 6,896.47, while the wider All Shares index was down 10.26 points or 0.25 percent at 4,135.98.

    Overnight, the Dow lost 1.35 percent, the S&P 500 retreated 1.65 percent and the Nasdaq fell 1.46 percent. European and Asian markets were likewise mostly down.

    Joyce Anne Ramos, analyst at AB Capital Securities Inc., said investors merely followed the same pessimistic trend of overseas markets over the past few days given the absence of positive news.

    “We still followed the overseas markets. Domestically there was no market-moving news.

    There was extended negative sentiment in international markets on the downgrade of the global economic outlook, decline in oil prices, and US markets breaching technical support levels that affected the Philippine markets as well,” Ramos said.

    “With the extended negative sentiment, investors are losing their appetite to maintain the market to its high levels beyond 7,000 [points],” she added.

    Buying in URC and PLDT was the silver lining of Tuesday’s session as their gains lifted the industrial and services indices. PLDT gained 1.14 percent or P34 to close at P3,022 while URC went up 1.52 percent or P2.60 to end to P173.60 per share.

    “PLDT and URC suffered significant declines in the past few weeks so investors opted to seek for bargains already. URC mainly pulled up the industrial index as it weighs 26 percent of the industrial index, while PLDT’s increase moved the services index as it weighs around 48 percent of the index,” Ramos said.

    Ramos sees the next support level at 6,800 points and resistance at 7,000 points.

    Industrials advanced 39.29 points or 0.35 percent to 11,167.33 and services inched up 6.03 points or 0.29 percent to 2,088.42.

    Meanwhile, financials were down 7.35 points or 0.45 percent to 1,640.46; holding firms slipped 22.11 points or 0.36 percent to 6,095.25; mining and oil lost 124.38 points or 0.77 percent to 15,976.71; and property was down 22.05 points or 0.81 percent to 2,687.

    Besides PLDT and URC, SM Investments Corp. was also among the most active gainers.

    The top losers were Ayala Land Inc., BDO Unibank Inc., Energy Development Corp., Metrobank, GT Capital Holdings Inc. and Alliance Global Group Inc.

    Ayala Corp. was actively traded but ended flat at P687 per share.

    Trading volume reached 8.9 billion shares valued at P12 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 110 to 60, while 51 shares did not move.

    On Monday, the PSEi saw its steepest decline since February 4, falling sharply by 2.78 percent or 199.26 points to 6,968.09, while the All Shares index dropped by 2.31 percent or 98.05 points to 4,146.24.

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