Stocks, peso down

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    Share prices ended lower Thursday as investors took to profit-taking on shortened trading week.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index was down 36.72 points to 6,005.40, a 0.61 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 18.3 points to 3,573.06, a 0.51 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 131 to 64 with 446 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P4.04 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.68 to the dollar, down from 48.575 on Wednesday.

    The currency opened at 48.61, an intraday high and hit a low of 48.71. Trading turnover reached $788.66 million.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Develpoment Corp., said the market’s lower close was also influenced by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, which showed the the US Fed has cut its economic growth forecast for the remainder of 2020 and stressed the need for more fiscal aid in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “In addition, the US ended three agreements with Hong Kong covering extraditions and tax exemptions. The two countries also plan to reschedule postponed trade-deal talks, though no date has been set,” Limlingan said

    Limlingan noted that in the FOMC minutes, the US Fed pointed at an uneven recovery, “tempering optimism over a second-half economic rebound and appearing to back off from a readiness to clarify its rate guidance.”

    “Officials called for sharpening guidance ‘at some point’, a subtle shift from doing so at upcoming meetings. The board agreed the pandemic ‘was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term’. While some members floated the possibility of more accommodation, no mention was made of changing the size or composition of asset purchases,” he said.

    Most actively traded SM Investments Corp. was steady at P900. BDO Unibank Inc. was down P2.75 to P89.05. Universal Robina Corp. was down P1.80 to P137.20. MerryMart Consumer Corp. was up P0.11 to P3.25. Jollibee Foods Corp. was down P0.70 to P139.50.

    Ayala Land Inc. was down P0.50 to P31.35. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was steady at P31.

    AREIT Inc. was down P0.05 to P25.90. Bank f the Philippine Islands was up P1 to P63.50.

    Dito CME Holdings Corp. was down P0.07 to P3.15.