PSEi snaps 4-day rally

Posted at 04/03/2014 4:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine shares snapped a four-day rally as banking stocks fell ahead of Friday's March inflation report.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index ended flat on Thursday, after reaching a 5-month high a day earlier.

The main index closed 0.01% down at 6,587.08.

Metrobank was the biggest index loser, dropping 2.31% to P78.25 per share.

Henry Sy's BDO, Aboitiz-led Union Bank and Yuchengco's RCBC all fell less than a percent. The financials sub-index was also the biggest loser in Thursday's trade.

After the Bangko Sentral raised reserve requirements last week, effectively limiting the cash banks can lend, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco said their policy moves will be dependent on data.

Standard Chartered has already projected the BSP would raise reserve requirements on banks twice this quarter to remove excess cash and combat rising inflation. The March inflation report will provide more clarity on what investors should expect.

Market breadth though was positive with gainers (97) outnumbering losers (71). The top gainers for the session though were companies that often see little or no trade at all.

Sta. Lucia Land and Philippine Racing Club were the best gainers, surging after revealing talks for a possible joint venture to develop subdivision-type projects.

Sugar company Victorias Milling also surged on heavy volume, on a report Manny Pangilinan's group is looking to buy into the business. Pangilinan has been shopping for sugar mills in the Philippines to support Hong Kong-based First Pacific, and its food business Indophil.

First Pacific had already bought into listed sugar miller Roxas Holdings last year.

Officials from the Pangilinan group were unavailable for comment.

At the foreign exchange market, the peso weakened to close at P44.88 against the dollar.