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Taper jitter keeps mart weak

Initial jobless claims slowed to a 50-year low at 199,000.

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Local market succumbed to profit taking ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and after the release of the recently published US Federal Reserve’s minutes which showed that central bankers were open to speed up the tapering amid inflation worries.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) closed at 7,369.27 down 49.83 points or 0.67 percent.

Most recent conomic data were also mixed. Initial jobless claims slowed to a 50-year low at 199,000, third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was revised up to 2.1 percent, personal income (up 0.5 percent) and consumer spending (up 1.3 percent) both rose, beating consensus estimates in October, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said.

On the flipside, October durable orders slid unexpectedly to negative 0.5 percent, and core personal consumption expenditures were up 4.1 percent year-on-year.

Data points to early taper
Equity markets in Asia mostly fell Thursday as a batch of strong economic data spurred expectations that the Federal Reserve will withdraw its vast financial support and lift interest rates earlier than thought.

A drop in jobless claims to a five-decade low, along with a surge in consumer income and spending, reinforced optimism that the world’s biggest economy is well on the recovery track but added to pressure on the central bank to prevent it from overheating.

The readings came as minutes from the Fed’s November policy meeting showed officials were moving towards tapering their vast bond-buying programme — known as quantitative easing — at a faster pace as they try to tame rocketing prices.

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