By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX continued to decline on Wednesday as selling pressure grew and overseas concerns over rising coronavirus cases loomed on the market.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 37.29 points or 0.58% to close at 6,377.79. The broader all shares index also gave up 9.82 points or 0.25% to end at 3,808.29.

“More investors are now securing profits from the recent rally, which is giving investors who have not been able to ride the rally a chance to pick up shares at lower prices,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

The PSEi is now on its second consecutive day of decline and has been down 113.4 points or 1.75% since its six-day rally ended.

Foreign investors have also returned to selling, ending five straight days of bullishness, after it posted P442.88 million worth of net outflows on Wednesday.

“I think this is due to investors taking profits amid uncertainties in US markets as virus cases are surging again,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in a text message.

“The market may test the 6,000 level… thus we expect selling pressure coming off from the investors,” he added.

The United States reported 66,784 new coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, raising its total case count to 8.7 million, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

Increasing concern over the growing cases weighed on US markets on Tuesday’s trading, resulting in a 0.80% and 0.30% drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite index increased 0.64%.

Despite this, the release of third quarter earnings reports are still expected to be the main driver of the PSEi in the coming days.

“As more Q3 earnings reports come in, investors are realizing that the numbers are not as bad as what was expected. With more mobility and business restrictions lifted by the day, economic activity will continue to pick up,” Mr. Mangun said.

Sectoral indices ended mixed at Wednesday’s close. Industrials added 42.16 points or 0.49% to 8,571.93 and services increased 2.19 points or 0.14% to 1,473.71.

However, property dropped 63.33 points or 2.04% to 3,040.36; mining and oil slid 75.71 points or 0.99% to 7,571.19; holding firms shed 26.07 points or 0.39% to 6,610.65; and financials trimmed 0.67 points or 0.05% to 1,251.68 at the end of trading.

Value turnover on Wednesday stood at P6.8 billion with 1.75 billion issues switching hands, down from the previous day’s P8.02 billion with 6.49 billion issues.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 112 against 89. Some 46 names ended unchanged.