Stocks close lower

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10:27 PM January 31st, 2013

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January 31st, 2013 10:27 PM

Local stocks closed a bit lower Thursday, even though it set a new intraday record, as investors locked up gains after the government announced a 6.8-percent local economic growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2012.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index closed 28.49 points, or 0.45 percent lower, at 6,242.74, breaking a five-day winning streak.

The index pulled back from the day’s peak of 6,332.27—a new record high—as the latest growth report only slightly exceeded government forecasts.

The financial and services counters were the most battered, as profit-taking intensified in the afternoon.

Value turnover was large at P12.44 billion.

There were 62 advancers against 106 decliners, while 44 stocks were unchanged.

The day’s decline was triggered by profit-taking on Metrobank, PLDT, Meralco, Megaworld, MPI, Globe and BPI.

On the other hand, gains eked out by ALI, Ayala Corp., SMIC, BDO, SMC, EDC, URC and AEV tempered the PSEi’s decline.

The 6.8-percent gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter was better than the expected 6.3 percent consensus for the period. But this was not enough to excite the market, according to Eagle Equities president Joseph Roxas.

“The public does not know the consensus,” Roxas said.

He added that what was given more weight was the fourth quarter figure was lower than the revised growth of 7.2 percent for the third quarter of 2012.  Doris C. Dumlao

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