Aug 052013

MANILA, Philippines – Stocks declined for the second straight session yesterday as negative sentiment in the US caused by lower-than-expected hiring data spilled over to the local bourse.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 0.37 percent or 24.22 points to 6,509.73, closing at its intraday low in a lethargic session. The broader All Shares index declined 0.38 percent or 15.09 points to 3,967.04.

“A shortfall in new hires in the US against expectations sent Asian investors rushing to the exits, pulling the regional benchmark and majors lower as the week’s trading opened,” said Justino Calaycay Jr., an analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp.

Late last week, the US Labor Department reported that 162,000 jobs were created in July, below the market’s expectation of 185,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, however, slipped to 7.4 percent, its lowest since December 2008.

“Positive numbers, which generally should impart a positive spin to trades, particularly from the employment and inflation numbers, have generally elicited negative reactions at it draws the US Federal Reserve closer to justifying a cut to the bond purchase program,” Calaycay said.

Around Asia, shares were mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 losing 1.44 percent or 208.12 points to 14,258.04, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.14 percent or 31.04 points to 22,222.01.

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Locally, all counters, save for mining and oil that rose 0.44 percent or 63.23 points to 14,395.28, were in the red. The decliners were led by holding firms that slipped 0.83 percent or 49.93 points to 5,938.85.

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