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Index plunges below 8,000 mark

MANILA, Philippines – A day after President Aquino rang the opening bell at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and expressed his hopes of seeing the market pierce the 9,000 and 10,000 levels soon, the market promptly headed in the opposite direction to extend its slide into three consecutive sessions.

Unlike the previous days of moderate decline, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) yesterday lost its grip on the 8,000 mark as it plunged 1.86 percent or 150.03 points to finish at 7,906.46.

All counters were covered in red led by mining and oil firms and property companies which suffered the biggest drop, sliding 4.13 percent and 2.60 percent, respectively.

“The market is really due for profit taking because we are already very expensive,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Finance Inc.

Market analysts pointed to the slowdown in China’s economy in the first quarter of the year as the primary external factor in yesterday’s local market slump. China’s economic growth reportedly decreased to seven percent from the previous quarter’s 7.3 percent.

“This provided a negative outlook to investors. As we all know, China is the barometer of economy in the world, being the second largest economy globally,” said AB Capital Securities Inc. analyst Alexander Tiu.

Market breadth yesterday was negative as decliners overwhelmed decliners, 158 to 41, with 35 stocks unchanged. Value turnover yesterday stood at P8 billion.

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