Stocks drop on profit-taking

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    Share prices ended lower Tuesday as investors took to profit-taking in the absence of strong leads.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down 84.94 points to 5,799.24 a 1.44 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 33.32 points to 3,501.26, a 0.94 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 99 to 85 with 57 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P6.86 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.48 to the dollar, up from 48.485 on Friday.

    The currency opened at 48.48 and hit a high of 48.44 and a low of 48.545. Trading turnover reached $819.1 million.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp., said market and its regional peers “weakened with anti-China tension escalating.”

    “Beijing has detained Cheng Lei, an Australian who works as an anchor for Chinese government-run CGTN, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said. Cheng hasn’t been charged with any crime. China earlier announced a subsidy probe into Australian wine, after Canberra last week unveiled a bill that would let it cancel deals with China. Earlier, Australia barred Huawei and rejected China’s maritime claims,” Limlingan said.

    Most actively traded SM Investments Corp. was down P13 to P837. Ayala Land Inc. was down P0.50 to P28.30. BDO Unibank Inc. was up P1.60 to P87.60. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was down P0.70 to P28.50. PLDT Inc. was down P14 to P1,465. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. was steady at P33.50. Universal Robina Corp. was up P4.70 to P142.50. Ayala Corp. was down P23.50 to P710. Bank of the Philippine Islands was up P0.30 to P67.30. Jollibee Foods Corp. was down P1.60 to P133.60.