MANILA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus' dilemma continued to cast shadow over the Philippine stock market, which extended its losses for the seventh consecutive session on Tuesday.
The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index fell by 1.68 percent or 109.93 points. The broader all-share index tumbled by 1. 11 percent or 45.50 points to 4,049.12.
Trading volume reached 1.75 billion shares worth 10.93 billion pesos (268.78 million U.S. dollars) with 104 stocks declining, 59 advancing, and 40 unchanged.
All six counters were sold down with the services sector suffering the biggest drop.
"Attention shifts to Europe with Cyprus on the headlines and the center of investors' decision process. The momentum of last week's slide carried over to the first session of the week as risks reemerge," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.
The crisis over Cyprus, with the government announcing plans to tax bank deposits to help fund the 13 billion U.S. dollars international bailout, have led a concerted move among investors to stay away from the stock market.
Even foreign stock markets were rattled by the development in Cyprus. Dow Jones industrial average index capped its record-high rallies and opened the week down by 62.50 points.
Some Eurozone ministers are urging Cyprus to rethink their plan and come up with a strategy that will protect the small savers.
"Trading in this market had event even more challenging. Prior to last week, optimism was so thick there was a collective conviction among investors that a correction, imminent and necessary, will be an opportunity to take fresh positions," Calaycay said.
However, while nothing has change as far as the Philippine economy is concerned, investors' sentiments have been swayed by developments overseas, he added.
"While it may take some time for the general public to recover their confidence, smart money will be on the prowl for bargains the seven day sell-off has brought," he said.
But it might be hard convincing investors to buy blue chips, which as of Tuesday remain heavily sold down.
These issues include SM Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Megaworld Corp.