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Rate cut cue from Diokno sends market scampering for profits

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) retreated on Friday after Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno signaled the possibility of an interest rate cut during its next policy meeting on May 9.

The PSEi ended Friday’s session lower by 0.94 percent or almost 75 points to 7,880.82, while the broader all-shares index sank 0.53 percent or 25.77 points to 4,863.15.

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Diokno made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg Television. He said the Monetary Board, the highest policy making body of the central bank, was considering a rate cut after data showed inflation slowing for a fifth consecutive month to within the government’s target range.

Traders said investors also booked profits ahead of the Holy Week next week.

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All sectors were down on Friday with mining and oil and services among the largest losers after losing 1.92 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

A total of 595.8 million shares valued at P7 billion changed hands yesterday, data from the PSE showed. There were 121 losers against 71 gainers, while 45 companies closed unchanged.

Property giant Ayala Land Inc. was the most actively traded on Friday as it dropped 0.21 percent to P46.60 per share.

It was followed by Jollibee Foods Corp., down  2.27 percent to P310; International Container Terminal Services Inc., down 2.97 percent to P127.30; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., down 0.38 percent to P77.90; and SM Prime Holdings, down 1.64 percent to P39 per share.

Other actively traded stocks were Ayala Corp., up 0.11 percent to P913; San Miguel Corp., up 1.4 percent to P181.40; SM Investments Corp., down 1.57 percent to P943; PLDT Inc., up 1.2 percent to P1,179; and Universal Robina Corp., down 0.19 percent to P157 per share.

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TAGS: Philippine Stock Exchange, Rate cut, stocks
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