MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine stocks fell Wednesday, hurt by Moody's downward revision in its outlook for the country's credit rating and a huge anti-government rally planned for later in the day.
The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 14.90 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,854.04 after rising 0.9 percent Tuesday.
The oil subindex finished unchanged, but all other sectoral indicators ended lower.
Traders said investors moved to lighten their holdings after Moody's changed its credit rating outlook to negative from stable, in line with similar moves from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's earlier this week.
The three ratings agencies anchored their decision on the possibility of negative consequences that the country's political problems may have on the budget and external payments.
"The Moody's news has provided additional bullets to shoot down the market,'' says First Grade Holdings managing director Astro del Castillo.
Blue chip Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., or PLDT, was the most actively traded stock, falling 1.3 percent to 1,575 pesos.
Because PLDT has foreign debt exposure, the decision of the three ratings agencies can only lead to costlier debt, analysts said.
Among other active stocks, Bank of the Philippine Islands fell 1.1 percent to 47 pesos and Metropolitan Bank lost 3.1 percent to 27 pesos after Moody's also lowered the credit rating outlook of the country's two largest commercial banks.
SM Prime lost 1.4 percent at 7 pesos, while Ayala Land dropped 1.4 percent to 7.20 pesos.Decliners led gainers 26 to 21, with 51 stocks unchanged. - AP