MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares ended lower Wednesday for the sixth straight session, weighed down by geopolitical and economic concerns, and a drop in banking and telecommunications stocks, traders said.
The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index ended the session down 13.66 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1000.27, adding to Monday's 0.2 percent decline.
Financial markets were closed Tuesday for a national holiday. The main index has given up 3.3 percent since Feb. 18.
Globe Telecom was the most actively traded stock, down 10 pesos, or 1.9 percent, to 520 pesos.
U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T recently accused four Philippine carriers, including Globe, of cutting its incoming calls after AT&T refused to agree to a hike in rates on terminating international calls.
The Philippine companies have denied the accusation.
Globe is also facing increased competition. Digital Telecommunications announced plans last week to launch a mobile phone business in April.
Bank stocks also dominated trading.
Metropolitan Bank dropped 1.50 pesos, or 5.6 percent, to 25.50 pesos.
The outlook for the banking sector has been bearish, given delays in the passage of amendments to the anti-money laundering law.
"The market is faced with the same issues it has been dealing with in past sessions, plus you had the peso nearing 54.50 last Monday.
Then you also have pressure on interest rates to go up,'' said BPI Securities assistant vice president Spencer Yap.The dollar hit a two-year high of 54.48 pesos Monday.
The market reacted negatively to the test missiles launched by North Korea Tuesday, which further aggravated global security concerns spawned by the threat of a U.S.-led war in Iraq, Yap told Dow Jones Newswires. - AP
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