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Philippine stocks close lower after strike of deadly storm
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20:10, September 28, 2009

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The tropical storm that left more than a hundred Filipinos dead and half a million homeless has also dumped its wrath on the Philippine market which opened the week in the red.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index went down by 1.3percent or 36.69 points to 2,784.65, while the all share index slipped by 1.45 percent or 26.21 points to 1,780.71.

Trading was lackluster where only 1.18 billion shares valued at1.39 billion pesos (29.33 million U.S. dollars) were exchanged. Foreign investors were net buyers at 6.14 million pesos (129,000 dollars).

All six subsector indices dived, led by mining and oil stocks which tumbled by 5.32 percent or 427 points to 7,593.09 after gold prices continue to fall. As of Friday, gold is now selling at 990 dollars an ounce, down by 0.02 percent.

A total of 101 stocks lost their value while 17 shares were up and 29 were unchanged.

An analyst from BDO Securities, Inc. said in an interview that tropical storm Kestana has affected the sentiments of the investors who did not participate in the market on Monday.

"The low value turnover indicates that the players are not in the market especially after what happened during the weekend," BDO Securities, Inc. said.

Kestana left Metro Manila and surrounding provinces submerged in mud after dumping heavy rains last Saturday. At least 140 people were killed.

The extent of the storm was something that the locals have not seen in four decades and has likewise affected some of the major companies' operations, among which Philippines' two major telecommunication firms Smart Telecommunication and Globe Telecom,Inc.

Analysts said the market's movement did not come as a surprise after the weekend's tragedy. Investors, they said, are more likely still coping with what happened and rebuilding what can be still recovered.

BDO Securities said the market was just lucky because there were two big stocks, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Manila Electric Co., which managed to cushion the drop.

Stocks in the 30-company index closed lower.

Manila Electric Co. was down by 3.72 percent or 7 pesos (0.14 U.S. dollar) to 181 pesos (3.81 dollars), along with heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. which tumbled by 0.2 percent or 5 pesos (0.1 dollar) to 2,390 pesos (50.43 dollars).


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