Jun 052013

MANILA, Philippines – Stocks fell for the third straight day as fund managers continue to unload their holdings as part of a global realignment of investments.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index dropped 1.73 percent or 115.58 points to end at 6,557.89, the lowest point since closing at 6,518.71 on March 22.

“The portfolio realignment of investors continues with the changing investment environment in the global arena,” Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc., said in a phone interview.

“We are waiting for the dust to settle before bargain hunters come in,” he said.

Fund managers have been pocketing gains from stocks amid worries over the rollback of the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus program.

Del Castillo said there is no market moving news locally, with benign inflation figures failing to lift investor sentiment.

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“A correction in the equity market as we had seen in the last few days should not come as a surprise to participants,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

He shrugged off concerns of a sudden market downturn evolving into a financial crash, saying the financial markets should be expected “to move up and down.”

The central bank chief, who has long rejected the possibility of a repeat of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, said the Philippines is in a better position now and that domestically, there is no reason why investors should depart. – With a report from Prinz Magtulis

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