Philippine shares end down Tuesday on Iraq concerns


MANILA. Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares closed lower Tuesday, but losses due to the prospect of war in Iraq and the sharp fall on Wall Street were tempered by some bargain-hunting. 

The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index finished 3.10 points, or 0.3 percent, lower at 1,035.57 after declining 11.75 points Monday. 

The broader All Shares Index slipped 5.06 points to 631.44 after declining 6.81 points Monday. 

Decliners beat gainers 25 to 17, while 28 issues were unchanged. 

Blue chips Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Ayala Corp. were among retreaters. 

PLDT fell 5 pesos, or 1.6 percent, to 300 pesos after its American depositary receipts in New York suffered a 3.2 percent loss Monday. 

PLDT's ADRs fell in tandem with the overnight falls in the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq. 

Ayala Corp. slid 0.05 peso to 4.25 pesos.However, other index heavyweights such as San Miguel Corp. and Manila Electric Co. advanced as investors started to pick up bargains, tempering the overall market's retreat. 

Meralco's widely traded B shares gained 0.25 peso to 12.25 pesos, while San Miguel B shares rose 0.50 peso to 63.50 pesos. 

"The market will likely continue moving sideways with a downward bias, as uncertainty on the Iraq situation continues,'' BPI Securities senior manager Roberto Cano told Dow Jones Newswires. 

"The market would like to see some resolution in the Iraq conflict.'' - AP 

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