THE benchmark index closed lower on Tuesday as worries about the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation clouded market sentiment despite the release of better-than-expected, second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined by 9.34 points or 0.14% to close at 6,623.23 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the broader all shares index inched up by 2.11 points or 0.05% to end at 4,095.98.

“The local bourse finished slightly lower as investors weighed carefully the recently released second quarter GDP data, against the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the capital region and some nearby provinces,” Timson Securities, Inc. trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a Viber message.

“COVID-19 worries weighed on sentiment. The market fell to as low as 6,584.63, down by 0.72%,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message. “Last-minute bargain hunting trimmed the losses this Tuesday.”

“Talks of a possible extension of the current ECQ also caused more skittish investors to take money off the table today,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said in a text message. “But a better-than-expected GDP growth print served to buoy the market.”

The Health department said on Monday that the country’s case classification is now high-risk after logging a daily average of 8,695 infections from Aug. 1 to 7.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday that the Philippine economy grew by 11.8% year on year in the second quarter, a reversal of the 3.9% contraction in the first three months of 2021 and the record 17% decline in the comparable year-ago period.

Sectoral indices were split on Tuesday. Mining and oil climbed 204.58 points or 2.14% to 9,742.35; industrials rose by 6.88 points or 0.07% to 9,365.14; and holding firms went up by 4.02 points or 0.06% to finish at 6,641.15.

Meanwhile, property lost 15.68 points or 0.5% to 3,070.85; services shed 5.95 points or 0.36% to close at 1,634.60; and financials decreased by 4.04 points or 0.28% to 1,431.28.

Value turnover inched down to P6.31 billion with 1.56 billion shares switching hands on Tuesday, from the P6.4 billion with 1.78 billion issues traded on Monday.

Advancers beat decliners, 94 against 88, while 54 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling slowed to P26.7 million on Tuesday from the P169.17 million seen in the previous trading day.

Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said he expects the PSEi to trade between 6,160 and 6,680. Meanwhile, PNB Securities’ Mr. Lisbona said he is pegged 6,200 as the index’s support and 6,700 as resistance.

“We are also entering a seasonally weak period of the year due to the ghost month or summer holidays in other parts of the world,” Mr. Lisbona said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte