By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX closed in red territory yesterday as investor sentiment turned sour on the extension of the lockdown in Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City until the end of the month.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 16.26 points or 0.28% to 5,651.67 on Tuesday. The broader all shares index also dropped 11 points or 0.32% to 3,415.24.

“Sellers led the market after the government’s announcement on community quarantine in the Philippines,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message.

The government announced yesterday that quarantine measures in the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna and Cebu City will stay until the end of the month, while the rest of the country will be put under a general community quarantine (GCQ) or no quarantine at all.

But unlike previous quarantine measures, the government now introduced a “modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)” which allows operations of selected manufacturing and processing plants but only up to 50% workforce capacity. Transporting services for essential goods and services will also be allowed.

This quarantine type is still stricter than a GCQ, which would allow operation of government offices and industries for up to 75% workforce capacity and flexible learning arrangements for students.

“Given that the NCR will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, economic recovery would take a longer period of time compared to placing it under GCQ,” Ms. Alviar said. “But still, I think it seems to be the best option for the NCR right now, slowly reopening the economy.”

For Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, other factors that affected the local market yesterday were the mixed performance of global equities overnight, pending resumption of construction and recreational businesses in New York, expected reopening of shops and schools in United Kingdom next month and steady price of West Texas intermediate oil at $24.5 per barrel.

Most sectoral indices at the PSE managed to end trading in green territory. Financials picked up 13.10 points or 1.12% to 1,173.16; holding firms added 26.46 points or 0.47% to 5,605.41; industrials gained 33.46 points or 0.44% to 7,539.02; mining and oil grew 19.44 points or 0.42% to 4,607.96; and services increased 4.69 points or 0.35% to 1,321.07. Property was the only index that lost, giving up 98.05 points or 3.33% to close the trading session at 2,839.70.

Some 454.17 million issues valued at P5.37 billion switched hands yesterday, slightly lower from Monday’s 480.05 million issues worth P4.54 billion.

Advancers beat decliners by a point, 87 against 86, while 45 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors were sellers for the fifth straight day, with net outflows totalling P968.61 million.