Profit-taking drags market lower

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Local stocks pulled back for a second straight session Tuesday, although on thin volume, as rich valuations spurred profit-taking.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange lost 24.53 points or 0.34 percent to close at 7,146.12, led by the property counter (-1.05 percent). It was earlier reported that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was considering more property lending curbs to ensure that the asset markets would not cause a bubble.

Value turnover was thin at P6.7 billion. There were 67 advancers, which were overwhelmed by 112 decliners, while 35 stocks were unchanged.

The index laggers were DMCI (-2.93 percent), JG Summit (-2.45 percent) and First Gen (-2.4 percent).  Metrobank, SM Prime, Aboitiz Power, Belle, Metro Pacific Investments, Philex, URC and SM Investments also tumbled by more than 1 percent.

The index gainers were ICTSI, Jollibee and SMC, which all rose by more than 2 percent while Manila Water, Petron, Meralco, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Bloomberry, Alliance Global and Ayala Corp. also closed higher.

Outside of the PSEi, APM (soon to change to Cosco) gained 2.5 percent as Lucio Co’s holding firm was reported to be working on a $500-million equity deal.

Boulevard Holdings (+6.38 percent) likewise surged in heavy volume as more details on a prospective deal with Ayala Land on a resort-oriented landbank were disclosed. Doris C. Dumlao

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