SHARES continued to decline on Thursday as the majority of Wall Street indices fell due to the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone in the minutes of its latest meeting where it raised rates from near zero.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) plunged by 183.23 points or 2.57% to close at 6,926.03 on Thursday, while the broader all shares shed 79.26 points or 2.09% to 3,701.23.

“Philippine shares fell with investors continuing to digest the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy… On top of this, the minutes indicated that participants judged it appropriate to move towards a neutral policy position ‘expeditiously,’” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

COL Financial Group First Vice-President April Lynn C. Lee-Tan said the PSEi’s decline was due to weak performance of US market overnight.

“Also, the higher-than-expected inflation and rising 10-year bond rate. Investors [are] locking in gains for the meantime,” Ms. Tan added.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Wednesday, with steep declines in tech and other growth stocks, after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting sharpened investors’ focus on the US central bank’s plans to fight inflation, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 144.67 points or 0.42% to 34,496.51; the S&P 500 lost 43.97 points or 0.97% to 4,481.15; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 315.35 points or 2.22% to 13,888.82.

Minutes of the Fed’s March 15 to 16 meeting showed policy makers rallying around plans to cut the central bank’s massive balance sheet as soon as next month.

Fed officials “generally” agreed to cut up to $95 billion a month from the central bank’s asset holdings as another tool in the fight against surging inflation, even as the war in Ukraine tempered the first US interest rate increase.

Policy makers were convinced to not only raise the target policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point from its near-zero level but also to “expeditiously” push it to a “neutral posture” of around 2.4%.

All sectoral indices ended in the red on Thursday. Property went down by 98.26 points or 2.97% to 3,207.11; financials dropped by 48.59 points or 2.86% to 1,644.87; industrials lost 239.09 points or 2.44% to end at 9,556.07; mining and oil gave up 284.06 points or 2.26% to 12,257.61; services retreated by 43.61 points or 2.26% to 1,886.08; and holding firms decreased by 148.66 points or 2.21% to 6,566.87.

The MidCap index fell by 23.3 points or 1.93% to 1,181.73, while the Dividend Yield lost 36.99 points or 2.17% to close at 1,669.40.

Value turnover increased to P6.41 billion with 920.28 million shares changing hands from the P4.98 billion with 11.53 billion issues seen on Wednesday.

Decliners overwhelmed advancers, 139 versus 33, while 52 names were unchanged.

Net foreign selling grew to P953.3 million on Thursday from the P464.96 million seen the previous trading day. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson with Reuters