RP STOCKS TUMBLED FOR 6th TIME

MANILA, DECEMBER 1, 2010
(STAR) (Xinhua) - Developments abroad continue to affect investors' sentiment toward the Philippine stock market, sending share prices tumbling for the sixth time today.

Fresh from its holiday break, the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) opened the week down by 2.46 percent or 99. 88 points to 3,953.70, while the broader all-share index slipped by 1.75 percent or 49.08 points to 2,742.53.

The selling pressure was heavy where a total of 1.44 billion shares worth P8.41 billion ($190 million) were changed hands. Market breadth was likewise negative with 100 issues declining, 36 advancing and 29 unchanged.

Of the six counters, only the service sector and the mining and oil indices bucked the trend.

"Too many distractions have surfaced in the recent days keeping investors at the sidelines with most staying out of the market, booking their gains or cutting early their losses," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.

The analyst laments that while bargain hunters have been on the prowl, their numbers have not been sufficient to provide support to the local market.

Debt crisis in the Euro zone and the continued tensions on the Korean Peninsula have severely affected investors' sentiment, countering the positive economic performance of the Philippines.

"Sentiments at the local market have been dragged by these external factors, pulling the index lower, despite positive, even encouraging numbers in the country's macro-fundamentals as well as listed firms' performance," Calaycay said.

Europe continues to be the main drag on sentiments, he said. U. S. markets fell Monday night and futures index were deep in negative territory at the close of Philippine trades.

Over the weekend, the European Union and International Monetary Fund have agreed to provide P85 billion ($111.35 billion) in bailout funds to troubled Ireland. This, analysts said, however, failed to assuage fears of the contagion spreading, with keen eyes now trained towards Portugal and Spain.

At the final bell, most of the 30 most heavyweight stocks of the Philippine equities finished in the negative.

Among those badly affected were the companies of Philippines' richest man Henry Sy, Sr. These issues included holding firm SM Investments Corp. and mall operator SM Prime Holdings, Inc. which fell 7.71 percent and 11.50 percent, respectively.

Other issues that declined are Alliance Global Group, Inc. and Energy Development Corp.

"The Philippine market is expected to remain on consolidation mode given the lack of compelling news for the equities," DBP- Daiwa Securities said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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