April 26--Extended profit-taking dragged Philippine shares back to the 6,600-mark on Friday amid sluggish trade in Asian markets.
On Friday, Asian shares eventually fell after a tough opening as fears of escalating tensions in Ukraine weighed down on upbeat US economic data, according to a Reuters report.
Lexter Azurin, research analyst at Unicapital Securities, Inc., said in a phone interview that profit-taking continued to rule the market up to the last trading day of the week.
Freya Natividad, analyst at Papa Securities Corp., said the selling mood was mainly influenced by Asian stocks' decline.
"It is still profit-taking, following the trend in the region," Natividad said
On the last trading day of the week, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended at 6,685.10, down 46.23 points or 0.69 percent, while the broader all shares fell 20.71 points or 0.51 percent to 4,034.16.
Except for services, which gained 5.02 points or 0.25 percent to 1,992.97, majority of the sectoral indices ended in the red.
Mining and oil posted the largest fall, losing 215.13 points or 1.36 percent to 15,591.33, while financials shed 12.78 points or 0.80 percent to 1,584.48.
The property counter retreated 24.29 points or 0.92 percent to 2,628.62, while industrials fell 76.49 points or 0.76 percent to 10,031.89. Holding firms dropped 38.98 points or 0.63 percent to 6,145.97.
Trading volume was 1.1 billion shares worth P6.6 billion.
Some of the most actively traded stocks on Friday were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., down 1.60 percent at P83; Marc Ventures Holdings Inc., down 19.62 percent at P4.22; Ayala Corp., up 0.32 percent at P625.00; SM Investments Corp., down 0.41 percent at P734.50; and Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp., up 2 percent at P13.24.
Azurin said shares of Marc Ventures dropped sharply following reports that the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) has suspended its mining operations in Surigao del Sur for operating outside its mining tenement, which the company had earlier denied. Despite the overall decline in the market, Azurin said some leads, such as the first-quarter earnings of listed firms, could largely influence the market next week.
"For the next few days, we may see movement driven by the earnings which will start to come up," he noted.
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