PSEi ends in red territory

Posted at 01/31/2013 6:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Despite positive news on the country's GDP report, the Philippine Stock Exchange index ended in the red on Thursday.

The PSEi settled at 6,242.74, down 0.45%. The index was  dragged by Globe, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Megaworld.

Globe slipped 7.41% to P1,074.00, while BPI fell 5.66% to P100. Megaworld was also down by 3.43%.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. dropped 2% to P2,786 and Metro Pacific Investment which was down 0.38% at P5.20.

At the foreign exchange market, the peso ended 6 centavos weaker, closing at P40.68 against the dollar.

Asian markets slip

Asian markets were mixed Thursday, with late buying offsetting earlier falls that had been fuelled by losses on Wall Street as US data showed the economy shrank in the final three months of 2012.

The surprise numbers from Washington, the first contraction since mid-2009, saw the dollar weaken further after suffering a sell-off in New York trade.

Tokyo rose 0.22 percent, or 24.71 points, to 11,138.66 and Shanghai added 0.12 percent, or 2.95 points, to 2,385.42. But Seoul slipped 0.13 percent, or 2.49 points, to 1,961.94 and Sydney lost 0.37 percent, or 17.9 points, to 4,878.8.

Hong Kong shed 0.39 percent, or 92.53 points, to 23,729.53.

Most of the region's indexes have enjoyed a strong month as dealers grow more confident about the global outlook, with Sydney enjoying its best January since 1994.

Investors were surprised by the US Commerce Department figures showing the world's biggest economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the October-December quarter. Forecasts had been for a 1.0 percent rise.

However, the Federal Reserve, wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, dismissed the contraction as "transitory", noting the economy had "paused" in recent months.

The Fed stayed the course on its ultra-loose monetary policy as expected, saying growth should be moderate moving ahead.

On Wall Street the Dow, which ended Tuesday just short of its all-time high, fell 0.32 percent, while the S&P 500 shed 0.39 percent and the Nasdaq slipped 0.35 percent.

SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi told Dow Jones Newswires: "The (US) numbers will likely be treated as a bit of a one-off, as they masked stronger consumer and business spending and progress in the housing recovery."

With ANC and Agence France-Presse