PHILIPPINE SHARES went down on Wednesday, along with several Asian stocks at the time of the market’s closing, as investors continued to yield to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 22.11 points or 0.37% to close at 5,931.33, while the broader all shares index dipped 4.36 points or 0.12% to end at 3,544.24.

“Generally, we still have a downwardly biased market given the uncertainties stemming from our pandemic situation coupled with our weakened economy and its dim outlook,” said Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, a senior research analyst at Philstocks Financial, Inc.

“We don’t have any compelling factors so far that could stimulate confidence in the market which explains our lackluster net value turnover,” he added.

The market recorded a value turnover of P4.91 billion on Wednesday, slightly higher than the previous day’s P4.56 billion. Some 1.22 billion issues switched hands, slightly lower than Tuesday’s 1.25 billion issues.

Net value turnover stood at P4.83 billion, which Mr. Tantiango said is lower than the year-to-date average of P5.87 billion.

“Our net foreign outflows are also building up again. We’re already on a 7-day net foreign selling streak averaging P577.69 million per day,” he added.

Net foreign selling grew to P614.1 million on Wednesday from P463.07 million on Tuesday.

“There is a general lack of confidence from investors. The PSEi is in a clear downtrend in the short term,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail. “It may continue lower to test support at 5,690 before recovering.”

Most sectoral indices ended Wednesday’s session in red territory. Property gave up 37.34 points or 1.33% to 2,768; industrials lost 38 points or 0.48% to 7,852.84; financials fell 2.66 points or 0.23% to 1,113.53; and services slid 2.52 points or 0.17% to 1,470.77.

Two sectoral indices managed to close with gains: mining and oil went up 26.38 points or 0.45% to 5,818.21 and holding firms climbed 17.04 points or 0.27% to 6,186.11.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 101 against 89, while 51 names ended unchanged.

Asian stocks eased from a two-year high on Wednesday, as a mixed bag of economic data had investors a touch more circumspect about the global recovery, while oil jumped to a five-month peak owing to a hurricane disrupting output in the Gulf of Mexico, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1% after hitting its highest since mid-2018 on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei was off 0.1%.

The US dollar nursed small losses in currency trading, though moves were muted ahead of a key Thursday speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in which he is expected to outline the central bank’s next steps. — Denise A. Valdez with Reuters