• Stocks dip ahead of MB decision

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    Local equities ended on a negative note Thursday as losses in US markets and anticipation of the result of the central bank’s Monetary Board meeting kept investors on the sidelines.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended 0.53 percent or 38.09 points lower at 7,116.13, while the All Shares index also decreased by 0.44 percent or 18.46 points to 4,199.83.

    Overnight, the Dow Jones lost 153.49 points, while the S&P 500 went down 14.17 points and the Nasdaq declined 36.63 points.

    Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance Inc. managing director, said in a phone interview that the market ended in the red as it paused from the three-day run it had since the end of last week.

    “The market ended lower as it is taking a pause after three days of run. Mainly, the investors are waiting for the BSP Monetary Board’s decision today because that will carry the market for the next 30 days,” del Castillo said.

    “After that, the market catalyst would be the third quarter corporate earnings, and we see the releasing of results this week so we will see how the market will fare depending on the earnings results and the Monetary Board meeting’s result,” he added.

    The central bank’s decision to keep its benchmark interest rates steady came after the market closed for the day.

    The subindices ended mixed. The decliners were financials, down 1.75 percent or 29.65 points to 1,664.09; property, down 0.82 percent or 22.95 points at 2,762.45, and holding firms, slipping 0.73 percent or 44.74 points to 6,124.26.

    Services were up 0.32 percent or 6.98 points at 2,184.67, while mining and oil advanced 0.36 percent or 56.76 points to 15,935.06, and industrials increased 0.58 percent or 66.53 points to 11,464.97.

    Among the actively traded issues, gainers included Universal Robina Corp., Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and Petron Corp., while decliners included Ayala Corp., Ayala Land Inc., and Alliance Global Group Inc.

    Declining issues led advancers, 97 to 72 with 44 stocks unchanged. 7.6 billion shares worth just P6.06 billion changed hands during Thursday’s session.

    On Wednesday, the main PSEi added 1.22 percent or 86.19 points to 7,154.22, while the wider All Shares also increased 0.98 percent or 41.06 points to 4,218.29. Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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