The Philippine stock market retreated on Thursday on lack of leads, especially after the U.S. equities ended Wednesday's session slightly lower.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 0.17 percent or 10.59 points to 6,101.72, while the broader all-share index retreated by 0.12 percent or 4.41 points to 3,698.69.
Trading volume reached 939 million shares worth 5.13 billion pesos (114.35 million U.S. dollars), with 63 stocks advancing, 73 declining and 57 unchanged.
Two of the six counters, however, extended their rallies. They were the industrial and the holding firm sectors.
Similarly, fellow Asian markets opened the day on a mixed note with Australian stocks moving higher despite a drop in jobs numbers, and Japan heading lower as the yen held gains against the U.S. dollar.
"The PSEi, which escaped the bear's paw in Wednesday's trading, met a stiffer challenge today. Sliding by half-a-point at the opening bell and eventually snapping a six-session run," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.
U.S. issue, the analyst said, remains a primary concern. While it has undoubtedly shaken off most of the ill-effects of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis that pulled it into a recession, new U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the numbers are still not sufficient to support growth such that the stimulus can be aggressively taken out nor interest rates raised.
One of the major legs on which the eventual full recovery of the United States rests on is the labor market, specifically unemployment levels. Another main element that comes into play in the Fed's consideration on the quantitative easing has been the level of inflation, specifically, pushing the rate to 2.5 percent.
Calaycay said all these will be considered by the U.S. Fed before it push rates from its current levels of zero or near-zero.
Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Among those that were sold down were Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., Megaworld Corp., and heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.