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Stocks retreat, peso strengthens

The PSEi plunged 131.44 points, or 1.58 percent, to finish at 8,162.70 while the broader All Shares index tumbled 58.27 points, or 1.19 percent, to finish at 4,828.21. File

MANILA, Philippines — After three consecutive sessions of new record highs, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) retreated yesterday as investors decided to cash in on their recent gains.

The PSEi plunged 131.44 points, or 1.58 percent, to finish at 8,162.70 while the broader All Shares index tumbled 58.27 points, or 1.19 percent, to finish at 4,828.21.

Most indexes lost whatever gains they booked the past three trading days. Among the biggest losers were the holding firms, mining and oil and services sectors.

Total value turnover reached P8.9 billion. Market breadth was negative, 121 to 69 in favor of decliners.

Fifty-four issues, meanwhile, were left unchanged.

Analysts said the stock market practically erased all its gains after breaking record highs over the last few days.

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April Tan of COL Financial said the market volatility is a result of “overbought condition.”

At the same time, she said investors can use the opportunity to look for bargains.

Meanwhile, the peso gained 18.5 centavos yesterday, strengthening back to the 50 to $1 level as investors await the meeting of the US Federal Reserve scheduled this week.

The local currency closed at 50.915 to $1 from Monday’s 51.1 to $1. This was the strongest level for the peso since closing at 50.905 to $1 last Sept. 11.

It opened weaker at 51.15 and hit an intraday low of 51.16 before recovering to hit an intraday high of 50.91.

Volume increased to $740.2 million from $502.9 last Monday as traders believe the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) intervened in the market particularly in afternoon trade. – With Lawrence Agcaoili

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