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Stocks continue to decline

/ 11:00 PM March 19, 2013

Local stocks retreated for the seventh straight session on Tuesday, dragging the main index below 6,500, as investors reassessed the market’s recent gains.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index slumped by 109.93 points or 1.68 percent to close at 6,426.25. This was even after most markets in the region rebounded after the previous day’s scare over a depositor levy proposed as part of a Cyprus bailout.

All counters ended in the red. There were nearly twice as many decliners (104) as there were gainers (59). Value turnover amounted to P10.94 billion.

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Dealers said this correction was needed to build a stronger base to sustain the market’s uptrend especially as local equities have become very expensive relative to historical and regional valuations.

The main index has now given up 440.85 points or 6.4 percent since hitting the peak of 6,867.10 on March 11.

Investors sold down shares of BDO, SM Investments, Ayala Land, Metrobank, PLDT, Alliance Global, Ayala Corp., Megaworld, URC, Bloomberry, BPI, SM Prime, Meralco, Metro Pacific Investments, Petron, JG Summit and ICTSI.

Among those that bucked the day’s downturn were Meralco and second-liner Puregold. Doris C. Dumlao

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