MANILA, JUNE 5, 2012 (INQUIRER) By: Paolo G. Montecillo - Local share prices fell sharply on Monday to its lowest point in three weeks tracking losses on Wall Street following the release of weak United States jobs data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) fell 3.40 percent, or 172.24 points, to close at 4,890.20 on Monday, slipping back to the sub-5000 level.

The all-shares index fell 2.58 percent as decliners, at 146, outnumbered advancers, at 28, by more than five to one, while 34 issues were unchanged. About 1.4 billon shares changed hands at P6.39 billion.

All sub-sectors posted losses, with holding firms taking most of the damage after losing 5.08 percent.

Blue chips’ DMCI Holdings and Ayala Corp. were on the list of the day’s top losers, shedding 6.05 percent and 5.93 percent, respectively.

Agribusiness firm Calata Corp., the newest member of the exchange, was the day’s most actively traded stock as it gained 8.86 percent and continued its surge following its initial public offering just over a week ago.

Last Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Averge slipped by 2.22 percent, or 274 points. The US economy added just 69,000 jobs last month, the smallest increase in a year, government data released last week showed. This was below most analysts’ expectations, fueling concerns over the strength of the recovery of the world’s largest economy.

Philippine stocks seen to weaken this week Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:30 am | Monday, June 4th, 2012

Risk aversion is expected to overcome investors this week amid doubts over the sustainability of the US recovery and the growing debt crisis in Europe.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) returned to the 5,000-level last week following news that the country’s economy grew faster in the first quarter, beating most analysts’ expectations.

The index closed at 5,062.44 on Friday, down 30 points from the previous trading session but up 2.77 percent week on week, despite sharp declines seen in the rest of Asia.

Investor confidence was also boosted by Moody’s Investor Service’s revision of its credit rating outlook for the Philippines to “positive” from “stable,” reflecting the country’s improved economic fundamentals.

A local brokerage, however, said continued bad news from abroad might dampen the positive sentiment for the coming week.

“Sustained doubts on the momentum of the US economic recovery, coupled with the still unresolved and apparently growing crisis in Europe, the positive spin impelled by surprisingly strong domestic economic numbers in the home front may be muted,” Accord Capital analyst Jun Calaycay said in a note to clients.

Gaming stocks, in particular, may face an uphill climb this week after reports showed that Macau, Asia’s casino “haven,” posted its slowest revenue growth since the financial crisis—indicating a slowdown in the region’s appetite for gambling.

Calaycay said support for the local index was still at the 4,930-4,940 level.—Paolo G. Montecillo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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