With no catalysts, share prices drop on profit-taking

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    Share prices ended lower Thursday amid continued profit- taking.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was down 116.79 points to 6,849.64, a 1.68 percent drop.

    The broader all shares index was down 43.05 points to 4,170.48, a 1.02 percent drop.

    Losers edged gainers 113 to 109 with 39 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P8.89 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.50 to the dollar, down from 48.83 on Wednesday. It opened at 48.35 and hit a high of 48.32 and a low of 48.5. Trading turnover reached $1.38 billion.

    Japhet Tantiangco, analyst at Philstocks Financial Corp., said the market dropped on “lack of compelling catalysts.”

    “Net foreign outflows also intensified adding downward pressure to the local market. Net foreign selling this Thursday amounted to P1.25 billion, higher than the prior day’s P941.66 million, Tantiangco he said.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital and Development Corp., said the drop was also influenced by the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January meeting, which showed “officials were skeptical about the US economy improving enough to warrant removing monetary stimulus any time soon.”

    “The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) minutes indicated that both FOMC participants and FOMC staff saw improvement in the medium-term economic outlook since the December meeting, largely due to the prospect of increased fiscal support. At the next meeting in March, FOMC participants will have to incorporate these new expectations of additional fiscal stimulus into the summary of economic projections,” he said.

    Most actively-traded Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. was up P2.80 to P51. Apollo Global Capital Inc. was up P0.020 to P0.285. Dito CME Holdings Corp. was stead at P17.78. SM Prime Holdings Inc. was down P1.45 to P35.80. Ayala Land Inc. was down P0.70 to P38.85.

    Premier Horizon Alliance Inc. was down P0.04 to P2.63. SM Investments Corp. was down P24 to P1,036. PLDT Inc. was down P2 to P1,350. AC Energy Corp. was up P0.20 to P7.86.

    BDO Unibank Inc. was up P2 to P107.60.