Stocks end lower

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Local stocks faltered for a second straight session Friday on war jitters in the Korean peninsula, US payrolls and a new bird flu strain in China.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index slumped by 56.58 points or 0.83 percent to close at 6,727.14.

For the week, the index lost 123.33 points or 1.8 percent as the earlier ascent to new record highs following the recent investment-grade rating recently given by Fitch Ratings attracted some profit-taking.

All counters ended in the red. Value turnover amounted to P7.33 billion. There were twice as many decliners (101) for every single gainer (52).

The day’s biggest index decliners were SM stocks SM Prime (-2.56 percent) and SM Development Corp. (-2.11 percent) while SMIC (-2.11 percent) and BDO (-1.83 percent) likewise slid.

Investors also dumped shares of BPI (-2.11 percent), Philex Mining (-1.39 percent), Megaworld (-1.32 percent), Metrobank (-1.3 percent), Bloomberry (-1.3 percent) and First Gen Corp. (-1.23 percent).

With most local stocks trading at expensive valuations, dealers said a correction was much needed.

Across the region, trading was mostly lower due to the concerns in Korea and a new bird flu in China and also ahead of Friday’s much-awaited US jobs data release. The Nikkei index (+1.58 percent), on the other hand, gained after a surprise monetary easing by the Bank of Japan. Doris C. Dumlao

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