THE main index fell by 2.6% on Friday to close the week in the negative territory as investors moved to keep their investments safe.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 179.93 points to end the session at 6,787.91, while the broader all-shares index decreased by 85.35 points or 2.1% to 4,064.32 at the close.

Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona, president of PNB Securities, Inc., said local stocks fell because investors tried to safeguard their investments.

“The market broke below the 6,800 support level today, as investors rushed to preserve their capital,” Mr. Lisbona said.

Philstocks Financial Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said the market’s decline was a result of the fears among investors over the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Today’s drop mirrors the performance of the US markets as investors covered with fears over the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy,” Ms. Alviar said.

According to the latest situation report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday, up to 1,185 new cases of infected people were counted, increasing the total global number to 82,294 cases.

On Friday, most sectoral indices at the PSE fell, with mining and oil registering the biggest decline at 302.13 points or 4.5% to 6,451.44.

Ms. Alviar noted that the mining and oil index had the steepest drop because most of the mining companies are exporters.

“With lower growth outlook, demand for its exports would also decline and this results in lower earnings,” she said.

Property shrank by 103.92 points or 2.8% to 3,633.18; holding firms dwindled by 163.75 points or 2.4% to 6,627.08; financials declined by 64.52 points or 3.9% to 1,605.99; industrials waned by 79.69 points or 0.9% to 8,351.48; services fell by 30.17 points or 2.2% to 1,351.38

Ms. Alviar blamed the decline of the indices to the systemic risk in the market and external factors that corporations cannot control.

After the close of the trading day, decliners bested advancers, 160 against 50, with 36 names closing unchanged.

Net foreign selling increased to P4 billion from P1.4 billion on Thursday.

Among the companies that reported their full-year financial figures on Friday are SM Investments Corp., Belle Corp., Manila Water Co., Inc. and Philex Mining Corp.

PXP Energy Corp. reported a net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent firm of P272.1 million, bigger than the previous year’s P77 million. Consolidated petroleum revenues fell by 32.8% to P72.5 million resulting from slightly lower output and a 15% drop in crude oil price in a service contract, among others.

Manila Water posted a 16% decrease in 2019 net income to P5.5 billion, saying its performance was dampened by the impact of a regulatory penalty, a one-time bill waiver, and higher expenses caused by the water shortage in the first half.

Philex Mining registered P647.79 million in net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent firm in 2019, reversing the earlier year’s income of P608.46 million, the copper and gold producer’s financial report to the stock exchange shows. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave