Lopez firms drag market lower

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Most local equities closed lower for a second session Monday, but gaming and banking stocks tempered the losses amid a sluggish regional market and a string of negative local developments.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index dipped 4.71 points or 0.07 percent to close at 6,637.56. This, however, marked a recovery from a loss of 1.1 percent in morning trade.

The main index was weighed down most by SM Development Corp. (-6.44 percent), Energy Development Corp. (-5.51 percent) and First Gen (-4.96 percent).

SMDC is set to be stricken off the main-share PSEi by March 11 while Lopez index stocks EDC and

FGEN were hit by a double whammy on Friday—the suspension of the Bacman geothermal operations due to a turbine rupture and a landslide at its geothermal plant in Leyte that has so far killed six people while eight workers remained missing.

A weak sentiment across the region arising from fresh property restrictions in China also tempted profit-takers. Investors sold down Ayala, SM Investments, Ayala Land, SM Prime, URC and Metro Pacific Investments in heavy volume.  Doris C. Dumlao

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