THE LOCAL MARKET ended in negative territory on Tuesday as investors were cautious amid rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 14.39 points or 0.23% to 6,136.31 while the broader all shares index declined 5.96 points or 0.16% to 3,599.72.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a text message that the local market declined as investors continued to monitor the daily reports of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Metro Manila recorded five straight days of more than 1,000 cases in a single day. If cases do not slow down, there would be a higher chance of stricter lockdown measures in the National Capital Region (NCR),” Ms. Alviar said.

Ms. Alviar added that amid rising cases in the country, investors are waiting for the next quarantine measures to be implemented by the government and President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27.

“Today’s investors’ participation remained weak at P4.37 billion. It is lower compared with the year-to-date average of P6.5 billion, and last week’s average of P5.1 billion,” Ms. Alviar said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said despite the market’s lower close, the PSEi is trading at the low part of the 6,030 and 6,600 consolidation range.

“On a positive note, the peso’s strength despite sustained foreign selling, which has already totaled P74 billion year to date implies that funds are not flowing out of the country, at least for the moment,” Mr. Lisbona said.

The peso closed at P49.39 versus the dollar on Tuesday, depreciating by 1.5 centavos from its P49.375 finish on Monday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading and Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said the local market is on a wait-and-see stance as they monitor the government’s response to rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

Sectoral indices ended mixed. Financials retreated 12.43 points or 1.03% to 1,184.97; property shrank 22.21 points or 0.74% to 2,979.93; and industrials went down 36.60 points or 0.48% to 7,470.99

Meanwhile, mining and oil climbed 48.41 points or 0.95% to 5,093.76; services rose 8.11 points or 0.57% to 1,429.96; and holding firms increased 17.15 points or 0.26% to 6,479.88.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 95 to 91, while 52 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling was higher at P582.24 million on Tuesday from the P47.63 million seen on Monday.

PNB Securities’ Mr. Lisbona expects the PSEi to trade within the range of 6,030 to 6,600 in the coming sessions.

“The PSEi seems to respect the 6,000 level as it moves sideways. Immediate resistance may be placed at the 6,350 area,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave