May 302013

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippine stock market suffered a huge loss today despite a better-than-expected growth of the Philippine economy in the first quarter.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index dived by 3.81 percent or 275.22 points to 6,953.33. The broader all-share index slipped by 3.02 percent or 133.99 points to 4,298.18.

Trading volume reached 1.9 billion shares worth P16.86 billion ($397.26 million) with 160 stocks declining, 15 advancing, and 38 were unchanged.

All six counters were down.

Analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said a string of negative news overseas pulled down the Philippine stock market on Thursday, overshadowing the positive gross domestic output (GDP) of the country.

“Concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus stance and questions over European and China’s growth added dark clouds over the horizon,” Calaycay said.

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Overnight, US stocks retreated off a record high on fears that improving economic numbers may prompt the Federal Reserve to step on the stimulus brakes.

European shares were likewise down with investors reading off a similar note, in addition to International Monetary Fund’s outlook of a slower growth for China, the world’s second largest economy.

The international, multilateral lending institution project China to grow at less than 8 percent this year.

These developments overshadowed the news of  a higher than expected growth rate. The National Statistical Coordination Board reported Thursday that an upbeat business and consumer sentiment, increased public spending and a robust manufacturing and construction sectors pushed the country’s economy in the first quarter to expand 7.8 percent, the fastest in three years.

“Once more, the domestic news front dries up except for May inflation numbers next week. This will keep investors looking outside for hints,” Calaycay said.

Stocks in the 30-company index were down. These issues include SM Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.

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