By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SHARES started the week on a negative note, as the main index digested the impacts of interest rate hikes and higher inflation in the long term.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 0.85% or 72.40 points to close at 8,386.17 on Monday.

The broader all-shares index also dipped 0.42% or 21.45 points to 5,043.89.

“The market today still continue its consolidation…(now the news that are coming in are)   interest rates being adjusted for the US and the Philippines also. And how to address the inflation. But overall I feel that the economic condition of the country will be okay,” Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu said in a phone interview on Monday.

Investors have been staying on the sidelines due to fears of higher inflation, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas predicts to have come in at 4-4.8% last February. Mr. Liu, however, said the country’s long-term prospects remain positive.

“There will be an effect, that’s why the peso is affected for the meantime. But latter part, the foreign investments, economic programs keep on coming in, there will be a lot of spending. So this will help pressure inflation from getting any further on the wrong side,” the analyst said.

IB Gimenez Securities, Inc. Joylin F. Telagen, meanwhile, attributed Monday’s decline to concerns on United States President Donald J. Trump’s announcement last week, where he said that he wants to impose a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff for aluminum.

“I think today’s sell-off was following global concern on the possible impact of American tariffs to the global economy,” Ms. Telagen said via text on Monday.

International markets ended mixed last Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 0.29% or 70.92 points to 24,538.06. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite index defied the DJIA’s performance, climbing 0.51% to 2,691.25 and 1.08% to 7,257.87, respectively.

Back home, majority of sectoral indices moved to negative territory, with financials leading the losers with a 1.33% decline or 29.56 points to 2,185.87. Holding firms followed, giving up 1.31% or 111.53 points to 8,372.63; services was down 0.30% or 5.40 points to 1,739.74; while industrials dropped 0.20% or 23.42 points to 11,488.48.

On the other hand, the property sector climbed 0.61% or 22.93 points to 3,783.21, while mining and oil gained 0.18% or 21.48 points to 11,926.67.

Trading thinned on Monday, as 7.85 billion issues switched hands valued at P6.12 billion, lower than the P7.25-billion turnover recorded last Friday.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 117 to 100, while 41 names remained unchanged.

Foreign investors kept their selling position yesterday, posting net outflows of P290.15 million, although lower than Friday’s net sales of P619.93 million.