RP stocks lower despite Wall St gain, drop in oil


Posted at Jun 20 2008 01:40 PM | Updated as of Jun 20 2008 09:40 PM

Stocks closed lower on Friday despite Wall Street's advance overnight and a sharp drop in oil prices.

World oil fell nearly $5.00 per barrel on expectations of easing global demand after China announced plans to raise caps on gasoline and diesel fuel prices.

But analysts said the retreat was only "temporary."

"Investors are still worried about rising oil prices and high inflation. The decline in oil price yesterday (Thursday) is unlikely to continue," said Jonathan Ravelas, Banco de Oro chief strategist.

High inflation was expected to crimp the spending capacity of consumers, putting a dent on earnings of companies.

While the drop in oil prompted some investors to buy issues, it was not enough to buoy the market to positive territory given persistent concerns about the credit problem and slowdown in the United States, the Philippines' largest trading partner.

Recently, Citigroup Inc. warned that more write-downs on bad debt would still come.

"The US is still hunted by the credit crisis and this has weighed on investor sentiment," Ravelas said.

The composite index lost 14.02 points or 0.54 percent at 2,578.57.

The broader all-share index fell 4.93 points or 0.30 percent to 1,631.36.

Losers whipped gainers, 61 to 27, while 51 stocks were unchanged.

A total of 1.5 billion shares worth P2.25 billion changed hands.

Market heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. dropped P5.00 or 0.20 percent to P2,470.00.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank), the nation's largest bank, retreated P0.50 or 1.35 percent to P36.50. Metrobank earlier announced plans to sell P10 billion worth of unsecured subordinated debt.

Top conglomerate Ayala Corp. fell P7.50 or 2.5 percent to P290.00.

Property giant Megaworld Corp. edged down P0.02 or 1.4 percent to P1.40.

Philex Mining Corp., the country's biggest gold and copper miner, ended down P0.20 or 2.7 percent to P7.30. It said it was selling 49 percent of its wholly owned exploration unit, Philex Petroleum, to London-based Ashmore Investment Management for $5.9 million.