by Kristine Liu
MANILA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine stock market managed to sustain its 6,500 level despite closing in the negative on Thursday.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index lost 0.22 percent or 14.58 points to 6,513.41. The broader all-share index slipped by 0.07 percent or 2.80 points to 4,091.38.
Trading volume reached 2.79 billion shares worth 7.92 billion pesos (194.9 million U.S. dollars) with 84 stocks declining, 72 advancing, and 56 unchanged.
Of the six counters, only the industrial and the property sectors bucked the trend.
"Investors continue to re-test the staying power above 6,500 level after hitting 6,531 intra-day high in prior session," online brokerage 2TradeAsia.com said.
Thursday's session was marked with volatility as both buyers and sellers were active. The local equities went up to as high as 6,542.51-- a new record it managed to close at the said level-- and went down to as low as 6,497.54.
Investors however took advantage of the "buying" window and picked up the issues, trimming down the losses and allowing the composite index to maintain above the 6,500 mark.
2TradeAsia.com said several participants are still digesting local leads which transpired in the policy makers' latest economic forum.
Others, on the other hand, are monitoring developments overseas, as regional markets resume trading.
"Monitor momentum build-up. Spot for good buying angles," 2TradeAsia.com advises.
Stocks in the 30-company index closed mixed. Alliance Global Group, Inc., DMCI Holdings, Inc., and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. were sold down.
In contrast, investors picked up Ayala Corp., Megaworld Corp., and Manila Electric Co.
In other corporate news, fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp. reported a 12.3 percent growth in its system-wide sales in 2012 thanks to the strong performance of its restaurant chains in the Philippines and overseas and expansion of its store network.
Sales of its restaurant chain in the Philippines rose 10.3 percent, while those abroad increased by 21.7 percent. China led the strong growth overseas, as sales of Jollibee's restaurants there surged by 27.1 percent.