SHARES declined further on Tuesday as the country continued to log high coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the past few days.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 60.85 points or 0.93% to end at 6,457.79 on Tuesday, while the all shares index lost 34.44 points or 0.86% to close at 3,953.81.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the country’s COVID-19 situation “continued to weigh on investor confidence.”

“This comes as our daily additional coronavirus cases remain elevated, in turn, clouding our economic outlook,” Mr. Tantiango said in a Viber message.

On Monday, the Health department reported 11,378 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total to 876,225.

“Business restrictions are less restrictive under current MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) guidelines. However, the constant rise of cases continue to spook investors,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John J. Mangun said via e-mail.

Under the less strict lockdown, some business establishments are allowed to open at full capacity, except for entertainment venues, recreational facilities, and personal maintenance businesses.

Meanwhile, offshore developments also affected market sentiment, said Anna Corenne M. Agravio, equity analyst at Regina Capital Development Corp.

“This is much like what is happening stateside, with US markets closing lower on Monday fueled by profit taking from record highs coupled with the effects of Fed chairman Powell’s speech. The negative sentiment in Asian markets, which came from a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases, also flowed into the local bourse,” Ms. Agravio said in a Viber message.

Majority of the PSE’s sectoral indices closed in the red on Tuesday, except for services, which inched up by 4.22 points or 0.29% to 1,426.88.

Meanwhile, industrials fell by 174.11 points or 1.97% to 8,660.57; property declined by 59.12 points or 1.82% to finish at 3,179.21; financials lost 24.81 points or 1.78% to 1,366.22; mining and oil went down by 55.12 points or 0.65% to 8,330.99; and holding firms slumped by 4.73 points or 0.07% to close at 6,600.23.

Value turnover increased to P6.1 billion on Tuesday with 1.93 billion issues switching hands, from the P5.97 billion seen the previous trading day with 2.43 billion shares traded.

“This shows that many are still staying out of the market amid lingering uncertainties,” Philstocks Financial’s Mr. Tantiango said.

Decliners beat advancers, 134 versus 64, while 50 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling surged to P1.42 billion on Tuesday from the P869.25 million seen on Monday.

AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said current market prices might be attractive to bargain hunters.

“Prices are approaching levels that have attracted buyers just a few weeks ago which may attract buyers to come in,” he said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte