LOCAL SHARES saw a slightly better close on Tuesday, ending flat amid improved performances of some index members.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) saw a 5.77-point or 0.09% uptick on Tuesday to close at 6,318.38. However, the broader all shares index stayed in red territory, losing 26.70 points or 0.70% to 3,788.52.

“The local market ended on a slight gain of 5.77 points as it bounced from yesterday’s heavy selloff,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren T. Pangan said in a text message. “The PSEi was led by heavyweights BDO Unibank, Inc.; Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (MBT).”

Shares in BDO improved by 6.11%, in BPI by 6.72%, while shares in MBT went up 3.89% yesterday. Other PSEi members that gained were LT Group, Inc. (16.15%), First Gen Corp. (6.08%), Robinsons Land Corp. (4.75%), Security Bank Corp. (4.67%) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (3.37%).

“The local market ended flat, +0.09% on the back of bargain hunting led by the banks—the most battered sector yesterday,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message Tuesday.

“Given the value turnover of P7.35 billion, which is higher than the year-to-date’s average of around P6 billion, it shows investors conviction to pick up stocks at a bargain level, particularly in the banking sector since fundamentals of these remain good,” she added.

Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan also said the local bourse’s performance is in step with the movement of its Asian peers, driven by improving market sentiment on reduced cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in China.

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai SE Composite indices went up by 2.14% and 1.82%, respectively, yesterday. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices also improved 0.85% and 1.27%, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the Department of Health continued reporting new cases of COVID-19 infection, reaching 33 as of writing.

Most sectoral indices at the PSE closed lower on Tuesday. Industrials dropped 168.26 points or 2.21% to 7,429.93; mining and oil fell 125.34 points or 2.12% to 5,775.41; property shed 40.18 points or 1.15% to 3,426.77; services lost 8.76 points or 0.70% to 1,232.63; and holding firms gave up 43.51 points or 0.70% to 6,158.87.

The sole sector that gained was financials, which added 73.07 points or 5% to 1,532.70.

Some 774.47 million issues valued at P7.36 billion switched hands on Tuesday, down from 1.15 billion issues worth P6.31 billion on Monday.

Decliners continued to beat advancers, 136 against 74, while 36 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors remained sellers, recording net outflows of P835.86 million from Monday’s P839.29 million. — Denise A. Valdez