PHILIPPINE shares declined on Tuesday due to last-minute profit taking despite trading in green territory for most of the day after the government eased coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions in the capital.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) shed 47.78 points or 0.68% to close at 6,920.36 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index went down by 9.86 points or 0.22% to 4,295.

“The market finished lower during the last minute of trading, after hovering in positive territory during most of the trading day,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a Viber message.

“The market gained during the intraday, trying to breach the 7,000 psychological resistance, as the government placed Metro Manila on laxer restrictions compared to modified enhanced community quarantine starting Sept. 16. However, bears won at the last minute,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a separate Viber message.

Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level 4 beginning Sept. 16. Under the government’s new system of targeted lockdowns, open-air dine-in services of restaurants and outdoor personal care services will be allowed at 30% capacity. Meanwhile, indoor dine-in and personal care services will be only allowed at 10% capacity and will be limited to the fully vaccinated.

Despite the drop, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the PSEi’s Tuesday close was among the highest in over two months.

“Net foreign buying at the local stock market today… as [RL Commercial REIT, Inc.’s initial public offering] listed and started trading in the market today,” Mr. Ricafort said on Tuesday.

RL Commercial REIT is the fourth real estate investment trust (REIT) to be listed at the stock exchange, raising over P23.5 billion from its public offer.

Foreigners turned buyers with P3.60 billion in net purchases logged on Tuesday, a reversal of the P164.38 million in net outflows seen on Monday.

All sectoral indices closed in the red on Tuesday except for services, which inched up by 4.92 points or 0.26% to finish at 1,853.13.

Meanwhile, mining and oil dropped 135.36 points or 1.38% to 9,621.03; holding firms lost 94.56 points or 1.34% to 6,919.46; financials declined by 7.73 points or 0.53% to close at 1,434.75; property went down by 8.96 points or 0.29% to 3,076.54; industrials decreased by 21.92 points or 0.21% to end at 10,186.45.

Value turnover surged to P31.17 billion with 4.71 billion issues switching hands on Tuesday, climbing by over six times from the P5 billion with 1.75 shares traded the previous day.

Decliners beat advancers, 121 against 70, while 54 names closed unchanged.

“In the coming days, we’ll have to observe if the bourse tries to retest the 7,000 resistance area. Otherwise, 6,780 may be considered the nearest support level,” Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte