PHILIPPINE SHARES closed in negative territory on Tuesday, ending its three-day rally, as investors opted to pocket gains following a global debt watcher’s comments on the country’s growth prospects.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 46.68 points or 0.63% to close at 7,258.11, while the broader all shares index fell 35.57 points or 0.81% to end at 4,337.76.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a mobile phone message that the local bourse fell as investors booked their profits after the market’s three-day rally.

“Technical-wise, PSEi is trading near the psychological resistance of 7,300, which triggers the profit taking after three consecutive days of gains. Also, I don’t see a fresh catalyst that could help the market to break out from its current resistance level,” Ms. Alviar said.

Ms. Alviar added that market sentiment was dampened as Fitch Ratings said a delay in the distribution of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine may hurt the growth prospects of the Philippines.

Fitch on Monday kept the country’s investment grade rating at “BBB” with a stable outlook.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the local market ended lower as investor sentiment is becoming increasingly cautious.

“There was temporary optimism at the beginning of the year, but the uncertainty of what is going to happen with the global economy is spooking investors,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

All sectoral indices at the PSE closed in negative territory at the end of Tuesday’s session.

Financials retreated 22.03 points or 1.47% to 1,468.09; mining and oil declined 126.55 points or 1.28% to 9,746.88; industrials went down 117.6 points or 1.21% to 9,589.07; services decreased 15.63 points or 1% to 1,541.46; property shrank 24.98 points or 0.66% to 3,739.12; and holding firms lost 8.11 points or 0.1% to 7,424.88.

Decliners beat advancers, 144 versus 86, while 40 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover on Tuesday amounted to P9.74 billion with 41.52 billion issues switching hands, lower than the P11.52 billion with 19.98 billion issues during the previous trading day.

Net foreign selling reached P25.03 million yesterday, a turnaround from the net inflows worth P209.73 million logged on Monday.

“We may see the main index continue lower towards the 7,000 support level,” Mr. Mangun said.

Meanwhile, in the region, Malaysia led losses across Southeast Asian stock markets on Tuesday after a state of emergency was declared in the country to curb the spread of COVID-19, threatening its economic recovery and sending banking stocks sharply lower, Reuters reported.

Malaysia’s main stock index pared some of its 1.6% decline by noon, while other Asian stock markets tracked overnight losses on Wall Street. The prospects for further US fiscal stimulus had boosted several Asian markets on Monday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave with Reuters