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Stocks weaken on US rate hike fears

/ 12:10 AM March 23, 2016

The local stock barometer slipped for the first time in three sessions yesterday on hints that the US Federal Reserve’s next interest rate increase might come as early as next month.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 34.38 points or 0.47 percent to close at 7,342.03 as fresh US Fed jitters spurred profit-taking. Across the region, emerging markets were battered by hawkish comments from US Fed officials, two of whom hinted that the next interest rate increase could happen in April.

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Prospects of higher interest rates in the US tend to curb risk appetite among global investors and induce volatility in emerging market assets.

At the local bourse, most counters ended lower, notably the services counter, which slipped by 1.55 percent. Only the financial counter gained slightly.

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Total value turnover amounted to P7.32 billion. There were 113 decliners that edged out 79 advancers while 32 stocks were unchanged.

The PSEi was led lower by telecom stocks Globe and PLDT, which both fell by more than 2 percent, while ALI likewise lost more than 2 percent on profit-taking.  Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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TAGS: hike, Philippine Stock Exchange index, PSEi, rate, stocks, US
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