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Philippine bourse extends loss on U.S. stimulus speculation


19:30, May 24, 2013

MANILA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine stock market again closed lower on Friday due to speculation that the United States Federal Reserve will pull back on its economic stimulus programs.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index declined by 0.62 percent or 45.47 points to 7,268.91, while the broader all-share index slipped by 0.44 percent or 19.93 points to 4,465.49.

Trading volume reached 887.51 million shares worth 7.13 billion pesos (171.77 million U.S. dollars) with 95 stocks declining, 57 advancing and 56 were unchanged.

All six counters fell.

"The composite index fell for the second straight day today amid continued speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will ease off on monetary stimulus," DBP-Daiwa Securities, Inc. said.

The brokerage added that it did not help that the Philippine stock market's valuation is already relatively high. The bellwether is currently trading at 21.60x current earnings and 21. 45x the estimated earnings of 2013. said players are adopting a "defensive approach" for now, pending also the regional markets' correction.

"Although the sell-down might appear to be a 'blip' due to weak manufacturing data in China, most might welcome the move as ' temporary aberration' to reposition," the online brokerage said.

Stocks in the 30-company index were mostly down. These issues include the Bank of the Philippine Islands, heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

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