Stocks end higher in thin trade

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Local stocks closed marginally higher on Tuesday as trading volume thinned out due to the Lunar New Year holiday break in key Asian markets.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index added 1.92 points or 0.03 percent to close at 6,459.93. The local index trimmed gains from morning trade.

Across the region, trading was mostly firmer led by Japanese stocks, which benefited from a weakening yen (seen to boost export competitiveness) and talks about a prospective Japanese central bank easing. But many key markets like China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were still on holiday break.

At the local market, value turnover was thin at P4.97 billion or about half of daily trades in the previous weeks due to the Lunar year turnover break.

The financial and holding firms counter kept the main index afloat while the industrial, services, mining/oil and property indices ended in the red.

There were 55 advancers, which were overwhelmed by 106 decliners, while 49 stocks were unchanged. Some investors took decided to lock up gains amid the lull. Doris C. Dumlao

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