THE MAIN INDEX closed flat on Wednesday on the rebalancing of the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) and tensions between China and India started to affect investor sentiment.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) recorded a 0.26-point uptick to 6,282.01 at the close of market on Wednesday. The broader all shares index shed 1.21 points or 0.03% to 3,698.40.

“Local shares closed flat as investors began to align with the FTSE rebalancing which will take into effect at the end of the week, while optimism over a recovering US economy overrode concern of a resurgence in coronavirus cases,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

Timson Securities, Inc. trader Darren T. Pangan noted the PSEi was trading higher in the early hours of the session, hitting a high of 6,352.90 intraday, but was subdued towards the end of session.

“Although the market ended on a positive note (on Tuesday) following the US Federal Reserve’s announcements on their efforts to help their economy recover, participants seem cautious with their trades as the fact remains that the second wave of the pandemic has to be observed if and when it arrives in our country,” he said in a text message.

He added geopolitical risks brought by the increasing tension between India and China started to weigh on market sentiment. Indian and Chinese troops clashed at the disputed Himalayan border on Monday.

Almost all sectoral indices ended lower at the close of market. Industrials lost 68 points or 0.86% to 7,760.62; mining and oil gave up 33.38 points or 0.65% to 5,078.96; financials shed 2.30 points or 0.18% to 1,256.82; services slid 1.90 points or 0.13% to 1,417.59; and property dipped 0.19 point to 3,110.79.

The sole gaining sub-sector was holding firms, which increased 27.03 points or 0.41% to 6,514.51.

Some 1.26 billion issues valued at P8.09 billion switched hands on Wednesday, higher from Tuesday’s 968.67 million issues worth P6.99 billion.

Decliners beat advancers by five, 97 against 92, while 61 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling was lower at P1.17 billion from the previous day’s P1.22 billion.

“After all the selling (on Wednesday), we may see the PSEi move higher (on Thursday) if bargain hunters get more aggressive,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

He noted MerryMart Consumer Corp., which debuted at the stock market on Monday, remains the biggest gainer for its third consecutive day.

“This may continue till the end of the week as investors favor the retail sector and reminisce on the performance of its sister company (DoubleDragon Properties Corp.) when it did its initial public offering six years ago,” Mr. Mangun said. — Denise A. Valdez