Philippine shares end lower Wednesday


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 27 Aug 2003

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine shares ended lower Wednesday on renewed security concerns after troops and police were deployed to protect a historic shrine in Manila from protesters, traders said. 

After opening higher, the benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index closed 5.94 points, or 0.5 percent, lower at 1242.91, adding to Tuesday's 1 percent loss. 

Decliners led gainers 29 to 17, while 46 issues were unchanged. 

The deployment to the EDSA Shrine underscored the fragility of the country's peace and order following the July 27 mutiny that the government said was part of a coup attempt. 

"While the act (deployment) was preventive, if these threats persist, they will continue to send jitters to the market,'' Westlink Global Equities Chairman Rommel Macapagal told Dow Jones Newswires. 

The strengthening of the peso and the scheduled release Thursday of second-quarter and first-half economic data have been pushed aside, he added. 

Active stocks included Bank of the Philippine Islands, which fell 1.50 peso, or 3.4 percent, at 43 pesos on follow-through profit-taking, and possibly in anticipation of higher interest rates. 

There are expectations that monetary policy will be tightened at the central bank's monthly rate-setting meeting Thursday as part of efforts to aid the peso, traders said. 

Manila Electric B fell 0.25 peso, or 1.2 percent, at 21.50 pesos on profit-taking. 

Capping the market's loss was Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which rose 15 pesos, or 2.8 percent, at 550 pesos, in step with the 0.5 percent rise in the company's American Depositary Receipts in New York Tuesday. - AP 

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