LOCAL shares slumped back into red territory amid renewed worries as the Department of Health (DoH) on Friday reported a Filipino male with no history of travel abroad has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gave up 114.39 points or 1.66% to 6,770.38 on Friday, while the broader all shares index slipped 55.32 points or 1.35% to 4,039.55.

This puts an end to the main index’s three-day winning streak, pulling it back to the 6,700 level at the end of the trading week.

“Shares in the local equities market closed sharply lower as anxieties about the worldwide spread of COVID-19 lingered and concerns about the ability of governments to control the impact of the disease on their economies sent the benchmark U.S. Treasury note yield to a fresh all-time low,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

As the number of coronavirus cases rose around the world, the DoH reported two new cases — a 48-year-old male that came back from Tokyo, Japan, and a 62-year-old male with no known out-of-country travel history.

Despite concerns about the local transmission of COVID-19, the DoH said it is confident it “can still contain the spread of the virus in the country.”

The PSEi joined other regional markets in the red on Friday, which Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan attributed to COVID-19 worries.

“Market was down today as…(COVID-19) continued to spook and create fear among investors as it continues to spread in other US states and the rest of the world,” he said in a text message.

He added that as containment remains a problem, investors across the world are unable to shake their fears, resulting in highly volatile markets.

In Asia Pacific, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices lost 2.72% and 2.92%, respectively. China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai SE Composite indices dropped 1.62% and 1.21%, respectively. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 2.81% and South Korea’s Kospi index shed 2.16%.

Back home, all six sectoral indices closed lower on Friday. Property was the biggest loser at 3,684.87, down 77.92 points or 2.07% from the previous session.

Financials gave up 32.29 points or 1.98% to 1,596.23; mining and oil slumped 102.97 points or 1.61% to 6,281.71; industrial lost 115.25 points or 1.40% to 8,114.07; holding firms dipped 93.40 points or 1.39% to 6,612.26; and services fell 13 points or 0.97% to 1,330.54.

Value turnover stood at P5.88 billion with 632.65 million issues switching hands, down from Thursday’s P6.02 billion with 978.55 million issues.

Decliners outnumbered gainers, 138 to 45, while those unchanged stood at 38.

Net foreign selling reached P271.03 million on Friday, from net foreign buying of P940.79 million on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez