THE benchmark index slipped on Tuesday as investors digested the government’s decision to keep Metro Manila and nearby provinces under a lockdown with heightened restrictions for two more weeks.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched down by 1.06 points or 0.01% to close at 6,627.43 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the broader all shares index went up by 0.47 point or 0.01% to end at 4,023.30.

“The market ended on a slight loss as investors assess the government’s decision to keep NCR (National Capital Region) Plus under GCQ (general community quarantine),” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a Viber message.

“Moreover, participants may have chosen to stay on the sidelines ahead of the inflation announcement for the month of May,” he added.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte kept Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite under general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” until June 15.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority will report May inflation data on Friday, June 4.

“MONDE (Monde Nissin Corp.) was the big story for the day as it debuted as the largest IPO (initial public offering) in the PSE’s history,” Christopher John Mangun, research head at AAA Southeast Equities, Inc., said in an e-mail.

Monde Nissin debuted at the stock market on Tuesday following its P55.9-billion IPO, said to be the largest in Philippine history and the biggest food and beverage public offering to date in Southeast Asia.

Most sectoral indices declined on Tuesday except for property, which improved by 50.73 points or 1.57% to 3,276.15; and financials, which gained 15.73 points or 1.1% to close at 1,434.40.

Meanwhile, mining and oil dropped by 165.56 points or 1.75% to end at 9,245.26; holding firms shed 59.70 points or 0.89% to 6,648.80; industrials lost 74.91 points or 0.83% to close at 8,862.68; and services went down by 7.09 points or 0.47% to 1,486.54.

Value turnover soared to P14.78 billion on Tuesday with 4.08 billion issues traded, from the P5.39 billion logged on Monday with 1.39 billion shares switching hands.

Advancers narrowly beat decliners, 107 versus 101, while 41 names closed unchanged. Net foreign buying ballooned to P341.37 million on Tuesday from the P56.14 million logged on Monday.

Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan expects the index to trade between the 6,600 to 6,680 range, while AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun sees the PSEi testing its support level of 6,500 within the week.

“We believe that this cautiously optimistic sentiment, which is translating to a slower rally, will ultimately be more sustainable,” Mr. Mangun said.

“Having these pullbacks will keep the price from becoming too volatile and it will also allow investors to come in at more desirable prices,” he added. “The rally may not move as quick as what we saw last year, but it will keep it from seeing rapid declines.” — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte