RP shares close 0.3 pct lower


Posted at Jun 18 2008 01:44 PM | Updated as of Jun 18 2008 09:44 PM

Agence France Presse

MANILA - Philippine share prices closed down 0.3 percent on Wednesday as a rise in the jobless rate added to worries about the slowing economy, dealers said.

The composite index lost 9.06 points to 2,628.20, after trading between 2,620.36 and 2,641.99. The all shares index shed 7.88 points to 1,658.48.

"Surging commodity prices coupled with a high unemployment rate means domestic demand would remain sluggish," Harry Liu of Summit Securities told Dow Jones Newswires.

The government said Tuesday that the unemployment rate had risen to 8.0 percent in May, compared to 7.4 percent in January.

The market remains oversold after last week's plunge to a 20-month low, Liu said, but added: "There isn't any incentive to push the market higher."

Twenty stocks advanced, 78 declined and 48 were unchanged.

Turnover fell to 1.93 billion pesos (43.68 million dollars) compared to 2.216 billion pesos on Tuesday.

The peso traded at 44.116 to the dollar.

Top-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone added 15 pesos to 2,470 on bargain-hunting.

Megaworld lost eight centavos to 1.48 pesos while Metropolitan Bank shed 50 centavos to 37.50 pesos on fears surging inflation may dampen home sales.

San Miguel A and B shares were both unchanged at 41 and 42 pesos, respectively.