Philippine, Asian stocks slump

by Warren de Guzman, ANC

Posted at Jan 09 2014 04:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 10 2014 12:24 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine shares fell on Thursday alongside other Asian markets as investors fret over rising interest rates amid a possible quickening of the US Federal Reserve's reduction of stimulus measures this month.

Asian markets were also dragged by fresh signs of weakness in Chinese Industry, as factory gate prices extended their longest streak of declines since the Asian Financial Crisis, making things more difficult for producers in the world's second largest market.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 0.82% to 5,937.51.

At the PSE, interest rate-sensitive industries took the hardest hit.

Financials fell two percent with laggards led by the Ty group's Metrobank, which fell over 5 percent. It was the biggest index loser for the day.

Property firms also fell over one percent, dragged by Andrew Tan's Megaworld and Ayala Land.

Also slumping in Thursday trade was Meralco, after the Supreme Court widened the scope of its probe into a controversial rate hike, to include its power suppliers.

The Supreme Court wants six power generators included as respondents in the probe. Five of the six are controlled by listed companies San Miguel, Semirara Mining and Aboitiz Power. All three ended lower as well.

Bucking the day's downswing was the Gokongwei's budget carrier Cebu Air, which got 'overweight recommendations' from JP Morgan and HSBC following Cebu's $15 million deal to buy Tigerair Philippines.