The Philippine stock market opened the week in the bearish mood over concerns of U.S. Federal Reserves tapering.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index fell by 0.64 percent or 41.99 points to 6,543.39, while the broader all-share index lost 0.54 percent or 21.31 points to 3,995.81.
Trading volume reached 1.25 billion shares worth 6.58 billion pesos (151.89 million U.S. dollars) with 89 stocks declining, 58 advancing, and 38 were unchanged.
Of the six counters, only the property sector bucked the trend.
"Although the bearish mood appears to have thinned, the market remains rather uninspired," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.
Calaycay said Fed tapering concerns were rekindled following a speech made by Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas suggesting a possible shift in rhetoric. Fisher alluded to a need for the U.S. Federal Reserves to resume normal policy as soon as possible.
Prior to the U.S. government shutdown from Oct. 1 to 16, fears of even a gradual reduction in the 85 billion U.S. dollars stimulus program has negatively impacted share prices, toppling global stock indexes off record highs.
2TradeAsia.com said separately that the release of the fourth quarter earnings might limit any sell-off in the local equities.
The brokerage advises investors to balance portfolio by selecting a good mix of large-caps and second-tier stocks that are likely to outperform the bourse for the final stretch of 2013.
Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Among those sold down were Ayala Corp., heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.