Stocks fail to sustain rally

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Local stocks skyrocketed to bring the main index to all-time highs but fizzled out at close Monday as investors took advantage of lofty prices to lock in gains from the recent rally.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index closed 44.7 points or 0.62-percent weaker at 7,170.65, wiping out gains after a strong opening. Earlier in the session, the index hit a new record high of 7,284.34, tracking the upbeat trading in Wall Street last Friday. The recent upgrade of Philippine sovereign credit to investment grade by Standard & Poor’s, the second global credit watchdog to do so, also contributed to the early rally alongside expectations of further cuts in the special deposit accounts (SDAs) by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

It was reported Monday that BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. could not rule out further cuts in the SDAs after the 150-basis point cut already sanctioned so far this year. Dealers said the market had digested most of the good news, particularly the S&P rating upgrade, and needed to pause for a correction.

All counters ended in the red. There were 78 advancers, which were outnumbered by 95 decliners, while 48 stocks were unchanged. Value turnover stood at P8.77 billion.

The market sold down shares of Jollibee (-3.24 percent), AEV (-3 percent) and ICTSI (-2.84 percent). Shares of Megaworld and Belle faltered by more than 2 percent while those of RLC, Bloomberry, Philex and AP fell more than 1 percent. Also among the decliners were SMIC, AGI,

Metrobank, AC, BDO, BPI and ALI.

On the other hand, the PSEi’s decline was tempered by the gains of Petron and SM Prime. Outside of the PSEi, Puregold (+1.72 percent), LTG (+5.47 percent), GT Capital (+0.57 percent), Vista Land (+0.57 percent) and PNB (+0.43 percent) gained in heavy volume. Doris C. Dumlao

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