THE BENCHMARK Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up on Tuesday after President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Metro Manila’s shift to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) will only be possible once the country starts its vaccination program.

The PSEi rose by 4.33 points or 0.06% to finish at 6,814.67 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the all shares index declined by 13.51 points or 0.32% to 4,141.72.

COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juan G. Barredo said local shares barely moved as investors were disappointed with Mr. Duterte’s decision to delay the easing of quarantine restrictions.

“Perhaps some dismay over deferring the swing to MGCQ caused some edginess,” Mr. Barredo said in a Viber message on Tuesday.

“The PSEi managed to end the session with minuscule gains thanks to last-minute buying, despite suffering losses in early trading. Gains were led by large-cap holding firms as investors returned to the “diversified-portfolio trade” after President [Duterte’s] speech last night, wherein he announced that restrictions would not be eased on Metro Manila until there was a rollout of vaccines,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John J. Mangun said via e-mail.

Majority of sectoral indices went down on Tuesday except for holding firms, which went up by 79.9 points or 1.14% to end at 7,076.78.

Mining and oil dropped 122.07 points or 1.24% to 9,682.45; financials decreased by 13.57 points or 0.92% to 1,447.31; industrials fell 70.47 points or 0.79% to 8,813.26; services declined by 10.12 points or 0.69% to 1,447.51; and property inched down by 19.23 points or 0.56% to end at 3,396.97.

Value turnover increased to P10.67 billion on Tuesday with 25.51 billion shares switching hands from the P8.5 billion seen on Monday with 16.43 billion shares.

Decliners beat advancers, 171 against 64, with 37 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P1.25 billion on Tuesday from the P1.36 billion seen the previous day.

“Investors returned to the Philippines for bargain hunting after successive sell-offs after recent economic data showed only a slightly better labor market amid increasing bond yields,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

COL Financial’s Mr. Barredo said the PSEi may stay at the 6,800 level as investors remain cautious.

“The index is trying to see if it can hold over its first but minor support of 6,800, which is followed by a stronger support base of 6,600-6,400,” he said.

“The general sentiment remains cautious as most investors were expecting a pick up in the economy’s recovery after restrictions were eased. We may not see a lot of downside from current levels, although it may also be a while before it sees a sustainable rally,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun added. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte