• Stocks dip after 3-day rise

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    THE benchmark index ended little changed on Monday as investors found no strong leads following a typhoon-battered weekend and opted to book profits from a three-day market rise.

    Shares opened weaker then recovered some ground toward midday trade, only to slip back to negative territory at the close.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dipped 7.43 points or 0.10 percent to 7,279.86, while the wider All Shares index hardly moved, inching up 3.12 points or 0.07 percent to 4,312.85.

    Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said trading was listless following tropical storm Mario (international name: Fung-Wong) but added that the weather disturbance was not much of a factor in the market.

    “There was no market moving news today. Investors were only at the sidelines, waiting for more positive news to come,” he said.

    “Basically, it is just a slight decline. Trading range is still the same while the market waits for more positive news in the days to come,” he said.  He earlier predicted the market will trade within a range of 7,100-7,300 points in the near term.

    Justino Calaycay Jr. of Accord Capital Equities Inc. said that while the market was in a “corrective move” on Monday, the benchmark index is still expected to surge by yearend given the PSEi’s track record of defying global trends.

    The mood in Monday’s trades is evidence that investors are still confident on the forward prospects of both the economy and stock prices, Calaycay said.

    “Part of this confidence borrows from a statement from Fitch Ratings that we are among a few economies that has the ability to withstand negative pressures that may arise, as when the US Federal Reserve finally decides to touch interest rates as it moves away from an accommodative policy in place since the 2008 crisis,” he added.

    Only two sub- indices ended in the green. Industrials  advanced 55.31 points or 0.49 percent to 11,422.80 while holding firms climbed 23.91 points or 0.37 percent to 6,409.89

    The rest of the indices were losers, led by mining and oil, down 133.64 points or 0.74 percent at 17,956.26.  Financials were down 5.62 points or 0.33 percent at 1,714.54, services lost 14.36 points or 0.65 percent to 2,212.96 and property fell 7.84 points or 0.28 percent to 2,763.37.

    Of the top traded stocks, five were five losers, four gainers, and one unchanged. Universal Robina Corp., ended flat at P178 per share.

    The four gainers were SM Prime Holdings Inc. (+1.13 percent or 20 cents to P17.90 per share); Ayala Corp. (+1.94 percent or P14 to at P737); Energy Development Corp. (+2.60 percent or 19 cents to P7.50); and Alliance Global Group Inc. (+0.40 percent or 10 cents to P25).

    The top losers include Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Ayala Land Inc., Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., DMCI Holdings Inc. and Nickel Asia Corp.

    Total volume was recorded at 1.1 billion shares valued at P9.66 billion. Advancers and decliners were even at 82, with 56 shares unchanged.

    On Thursday, the PSEi rose 55.45 points or 0.77 percent to 7,287.29, while the broader All Shares index rose 26.26 points or 0.61 percent to 4,309.73. Local financial markets were closed on Friday due to the suspension of bank operations as Tropical Storm Mario dumped heavy rains and caused widespread flooding in the metropolis.

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