Jul 192013

MANILA, Philippines – Profit taking and discounted sale of blue chip Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) dragged down the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) yesterday.

The PSEi retreated 0.41 percent or 27.33 points to settle at 6,621.02, while the broader all shares index dropped 0.48 percent or 19.26 points to 4,032.08.

Most active stock were mixed but the main index was dampened by the plunge in Meralco’s share price.

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) trimmed its 32.8-percent stake in the country’s largest power distributor. SMC sold 64.33 million Meralco shares at P270 apiece, representing a steep 10.71-percent discount compared with the previous closing price of P302.40.

Top-traded Meralco lost 8.2 percent to end at P277.60 yesterday amid the heavily-discounted sale.

Given the run-up of the benchmark index past the 6,600 level, some investors opted to book gains.

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The local stock market bucked another record high in Wall Street, which was driven by strong corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.5 percent or 78.02 points to 15,548.54 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.5 percent or 8.46 points to 1,689.37.

Closer to home, Asian shares were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 shedding 1.48 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched up 0.03 percent.

Locally, most counters were in the red, led by financial firms that slipped 0.98 percent or 15.72 points to 1,595.30. Mining and oil added 0.57 percent or 81.52 points to 14,369.94.

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