Investors take profit ahead of long weekend

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    Share prices ended lower Thursday as investors took to profit -taking.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index was down 91.14 points to 6,991.01, a 1.29 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 37.85 points to 4,222.96, a 0.86 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 131 to 95 with 44 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P15.09 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.045 to the dollar, down from 48.038 on Wednesday.

    The currency opened at 48.04 and hit a high of 48.023 and a low of 48.049. Trading turnover reached $727.5 million.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital and Development Corp., said investors took to profit taking ahead of the long weekend.

    “Philippine shares closed lower ahead of the long weekend as the market absorbed new corporate earnings releases and upon the release of the tamed CPI (consumer price index) data,” he said.

    “Others realigned portfolios to match that of the recalibrated PSE index which takes effects on Monday, February 15,” Limlingan added.

    Reuters also noted the market’s drop was ahead of the central bank’s monetary policy meeting later in the day, at which it is widely expected to hold rates.

    “We expect BSP to keep its policy rate at 2 percent to provide further monetary support for the time being but we do not discount a possible reversal should inflation remain elevated over the coming months,” ING analysts said.

    Most actively traded First Gen Corp. preferred shares was up P2.90 to P110.90. Dito CME Holdings Corp. was up P0.60 to P17.70. Alliance Global Group Inc. was up P0.12 to p10.90.

    Premier Horizon Alliance Corp. was down P0.16 to P2.97. SM Investments Corp. was down P10 to P1,068. Apollo Global Capital Inc. was up P0.003 to P0.239. AC Energy Corp. was down P0.02 to P7.87. BDO Unibank Inc. was down P0.30 to P107. Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp. was up P0.76 to P3.53. Security Bank Corp. was down P1.70 to P126.20.