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Index retreats as pundits cash in



Week ended for shares with some profit taking, tracking the performance of the United States (US) markets as investors considered a fresh read on weekly unemployment claims and wholesale price inflation out of Washington.

Initial jobless claims increased by 23,000 to 230,000 in the week ended 8 January against consensus expectations for a slight decline, likely reflecting Omicron-related layoffs.

The bourse benchmark closed at 7,261.34 down 46.41 points or 0.64 percent.

Another factor that influenced the market movement was the reported 9.7 percent year-on-year increase in producer price index, the highest jump since 2010, Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan said.

A slew of economic reports is coming out later, including December retail numbers, industrial production figures, and consumer sentiment data.

Meanwhile, the country’s gross international reserves slipped 1.11 percent from a year ago to $108.89 billion.

The dollar reserves reported were also 1.9 percent short of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ year-end forecast of $111 billion.

Oil prices edged lower as investors took profits after two days of gains amid fears of aggressive US interest rate hikes, but the losses were cushioned by expectations that a strong economic recovery will boost demand.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 52 cents, or 0.63 percent lower at $82.12 per barrel (/bbl), after rising 5.6 percent over the last two days. Brent crude futures settled 0.24 percent lower at $84.47/bbl.

Fed signal unsettles marts

Asian stocks declined Friday after a slew of Federal Reserve officials signaled they will combat inflation aggressively and the Nasdaq 100 fell to its lowest level since October.

Equities tumbled across the region, with indexes in Japan and Korea down more than one percent.

US futures fluctuated after American stocks tumbled Thursday, led by technology companies, which are seen as most sensitive to higher rates. Treasury yields rose, while Japan’s five-year yields climbed to their highest level since 2016.