PSEi retreats below 5,800

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A general shot of the Philippine Stock Exchange in Makati. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The local stocks index retreated below 5,800 on Thursday as investors pocketed gains from a five-day run-up.

After posting its 38th record high finish on Wednesday, the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index pulled back by 37.94 points or 0.65 percent to close at 5,794.89 in thin pre-New Year trade.

Holding firms (-1.12 percent) posted the steepest decline while only the financial counter narrowly avoided ending in the red.

Value turnover was thin at P4.59 billion as many investors were on an extended post-Christmas and pre-New Year holiday break.

Apart from profit-taking pressures, risk appetite was also tempered by concerns that the strong peso was hurting the business process outsourcing industry, a key driver of the domestic economy.

There were 67 advancers which were outnumbered by 85 decliners while 46 stocks were unchanged.

Investors sold down shares of AC (-2.67 percent), DMCI (-2.34 percent), ALI (-2.28 percent), Semirara (-1.64 percent),FGEN (-1.35 percent), SMDC (-1.34 percent), URC (-1.34 percent), Metrobank (-0.78 percent) and PLDT (-0.70 percent).

Elsewhere in the region, stock markets were mostly higher despite jitters over the unresolved US “fiscal cliff” before the yearend deadline.  The “fiscal cliff” refers to a series of mandated tax increases and spending cuts that could push back the US economy into a recession unless a new budget deal is made by yearend.

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