PHILIPPINE SHARES closed in the red on Wednesday as investors processed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to keep Metro Manila under strict quarantine measures until the country’s inoculation program begins.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) declined by 58.72 points or 0.86% to close at 6,755.95, while the broader all shares index fell 41.56 points or 1% to end at 4,100.16.

“Investors still digested the decision of the government of rejecting to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine without the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine rollout,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“Negative sentiment remains in the market since worries over the economic recovery heightened, given the uncertainties on the rollout of the vaccine,” Ms. Alviar added.

“Traders also took profits ahead of the holiday,” she added.

Financial markets are closed today in commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said concerns over inflation clouded market sentiment in the region, as Asian markets mostly closed in the red.

“Shares in the Philippines and across Asia as the market’s concerns towards rising inflation needed to be tamed by [Federal Reserve] Chair Jerome Powell’s speech. China and Hong Kong stocks fell as many continued to sell consumer and health care stocks, which many believed to have reached the peak of the valuations,” Mr. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.8% and has lost 3.2% for the week so far, Reuters reported.

On Tuesday, US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell did not seem too perturbed by a sell-off in Treasuries that has driven 10-year yields up by 40 basis points this year, telling Congress it was a statement on the market’s confidence in the pandemic recovery.

All sectoral indices fell on Wednesday. Mining and oil went down by 291.01 points or 3% to 9,391.44; industrials dropped by 140.01 or 1.58% to 8,673.25; holding firms saw a decrease of 87.13 points or 1.23% to 6,989.65; financials declined by 11.72 points or 0.81% to 1,435.59; property fell 12.26 points or 0.36% to 3,384.71; and services inched down by 0.97 point or 0.06% to finish at 1,446.54.

Value turnover went up to P14.70 billion with 36.10 billion shares switching hands on Wednesday from the P10.67 billion traded the previous day with 25.51 billion issues.

Decliners led advancers, 174 against 58, while 37 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P652.86 million on Wednesday from the P1.25 billion recorded on Tuesday.

“Many are anticipating a selldown on Friday with MSCI’s rebalancing finally [taking] place,” Mr. Limlingan said. — K.C.G. Valmonte with Reuters