By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL shares continued to decline on Friday, dragged by index heavyweights unloaded by foreign investors.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 0.56% or 48.01 points to 8,467.56 on Friday, failing to follow the general upswing seen in global markets. The broader all-shares index likewise declined 0.47% or 23.63 points to 5,063.56.

“Overall, we traded sideways which was what we expected. Several blue-chip issues took significant losses as we see continued net foreign selling,” Eagle Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in a report.

Papa Securities Corp. noted that blue chip JG Summit Holdings, Inc. (JGS) dragged the index. Shares in JG Summit dropped 2.75% or P2.05 to P72.50 apiece on Friday, with foreigners selling P167 million worth of stocks in the firm.

This follows Ayala Land, Inc., which was sold down 0.79% to P43.90 each, for an aggregate value of P250 million from foreign investors.

“We also saw selling pressure on the country as the Asia/Pacific region was up when Philippine net foreign selling surpassed the P1-billion mark again at P1.04-billion, the last time we saw this much selling was last Monday, Feb. 12,” Papa Securities Trader Gabriel Perez said in an e-mail.

Net sales on Friday almost tripled Thursday’s net outflows of P389.87 million.

Most Asian indices went back to positive territory on Friday, tracking the general increase in markets in the United States, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.66% or 164.70 points to 24,962.48.

Majority of sectoral indices trekked lower on Friday, led by the financials sector that last 1.11% or 24.39 points to 2,177.06. Property declined by 0.95% or 36.77 points to 3,825.42; industrial fell 0.83% or 93.84 points to 11,151.25; services dipped 0.09% or 1.53 points to 1,744.07; while holding firms were down 0.02% or 1.28 points to 8,621.77.

The mining and oil sector was the lone sub-index that managed to post gains, climbing 1.15% or 139.52 points to 12,238.06.

A total of 3.26 billion issues switched hands, valued at P9.24 billion, lower than the previous session’s turnover of P10.46 billion.

Decliners prevailed for the day, 122 against 91 that advanced and 39 that ended flat.

Among the day’s advancers was MRC Allied, Inc., jumping 48.72% to 58 centavos, with a value turnover of P729 million, making it the second most traded issue of the day.

“Some say the interest in MRC is linked to its possible emergence as another telco player. This past August, its majority shareholder, Menlo Capital Corp, acquired 70% of PT&T (Philippine Telegraph & Telephone),” Papa Securities’ Mr. Perez said.