Stocks ease on lack of catalysts

By Iris Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines - The stock market opened the week on a sour note, ending last week’s rallies.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) retreated 28.45 points, or 0.38 percent, to finish at 7,316.57 while the broader All Shares index lost 12.86, or 0.29 percent, to close at 4,404.34.

Total value turnover reached P7.03 billion as decliners outnumbered advancing stocks 111 to 64. Fifty-nine issues, meanwhile, were left unchanged.

Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital, said the stock market took the cue from US stocks which are now waiting for the next catalyst as the Dow narrowly traded on Friday lower amid further weakness in both financials and healthcare.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 19.93 points to close at 20,914.62 while the S&P 500 eased 3.13 points to 2,378.25

Investors are now on the look out for stronger catalysts as the US Federal Reserve’s much awaited rate hike has already been taken into account, analysts said.

“US factory output expanded for a sixth successive month during February even as overall industrial production – held in check by warmer-than-usual weather – stalled,” Limlingan said.

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