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PH stocks dip from record highs

/ 04:41 PM February 22, 2013

MANILA, Philippines–Local stocks dipped from record-highs on Friday on a prospective withdrawal of the liquidity-boosting bond buy back activities of the US Federal Reserve.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 2.35 points or 0.04 percent to close at 6,665.06. The index fell to as low as 6,565.26 for the day but recouped much of the losses before the closing bell.

Given sharp gains earlier in the week, the index was up by 143.42 points or 2.2 percent week-on-week.

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On Friday, the index closed in negative territory for the first time in five trading days due to jitters over the US Fed’s prospective moves. There were 94 decliners that overwhelmed 68 advancers while 48 stocks were unchanged.

“This was a delayed reaction to US correction yesterday (Wednesday in Wall Street) on possible removal of (US Fed’s) QE (quantitative easing) injection,” said Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at Campos Lanuza & Co.

“I think it’s a combination of several factors, the worst of which is the concern that the US Fed may stop or reduce their stimulus measures earlier than announced. There seems to be a bias towards tightening, or at least a pause in stimulus programs in the major economies,” said Manny Lisbona, deputy chief at PNB Securities.

There was profit-taking on a number of high-flying blue chips, such as SM-related stocks which in recent weeks have soared in anticipation of a prospective consolidation of property-related businesses. On Friday, SM Prime fell by 2.77 percent while SMDC tumbled by 2.1 percent.

Other stocks that weighed down the index were MPI, BDO, Metrobank, URC, MWC, SMIC and JG Summit.

On the other hand, the day’s losses were tempered by the gains posted by the likes of BPI (+4.2 percent) and Jollibee (+3.81 percent). Other index gainers were Belle, ALI, Petron, Philex, AC, SMC and DMCI.

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