PH stocks plummet on profit-taking

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MANILA, Philippines—Local share prices succumbed to profit-taking on Tuesday as investors cashed in after the index reached fresh record highs earlier in the week.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 66.8 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 6,104.90, tracking losses in other Asian bourses.

Brokerage firm 2TradeAsia attributed the decline to institutional investors staying on the sidelines ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the United States.

“There might be occasions for some locals to seize the recent rise to cash out, possibly to reposition toward second- and third-liner bets that typically follow large-caps’ lead,” the firm said.

All sub-indices were in the red except for financials, which rose marginally by 0.11 percent. This was driven by the 1.12-percent rise in Philippine National Bank (PNB), which announced that its merger with sister firm Allied Bank would take effect on Feb. 9. The merger is expected to create the country’s fourth-largest lender.

Leading the decline was the services sector (down 1.74 percent), dragged lower by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), which fell 2.63 percent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 113 to 58, while 43 shares were unchanged. Total volume reached 5.75 billion valued at P6.68 billion.—Paolo G. Montecillo

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