Stocks end lower

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08:43 PM February 22nd, 2013

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Local stocks dipped from record-highs Friday on a prospective withdrawal of the liquidity-boosting bond buyback activities of the US Federal Reserve.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 2.35 points or 0.04 percent to close at 6,665.06. The index fell to as low as 6,565.26 for the day but recovered much of the losses before the closing bell.

Given the sharp gains earlier in the week, the index was up 143.42 points or 2.2 percent week-on-week.

On Friday, the index closed in negative territory for the first time in five trading days due to jitters over the US Fed’s prospective moves. There were 94 decliners that overwhelmed 68 advancers while 48 stocks were unchanged.

“This was a delayed reaction to a US correction yesterday (Wednesday in Wall Street) on the possible removal of (US Fed’s) QE (quantitative easing) injection,” said Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at Campos Lanuza & Co.

“I think it’s a combination of several factors, the worst of which is the concern that the US Fed may stop or reduce their stimulus measures earlier than announced. There seems to be a bias toward tightening, or at least a pause in stimulus programs in the major economies,” said Manny Lisbona, deputy chief at PNB Securities.

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