SHARES fell on Wednesday on profit taking, also tracking Wall Street’s decline and amid a lower labor force participation rate in the Philippines last month despite a decline in unemployment.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 149.22 points or 2.23% to close at 6,525.16 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index decreased by 51.86 points or 1.49% to end at 3,425.86.

“The PSEi took a turn back to near the 6,500 level on Wednesday as investors secured profits from the PSEi’s rally to the 6,600 level on Tuesday,” Unicapital Securities, Inc. Equity Research Analyst Neil Andrew L. Maderaje said in a Viber message.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research and Engagement Officer Mikhail Philippe Plopenio said stocks declined following the release of the results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey.

Unemployment rate hit a record low in October amid a rebound in economic activity. The jobless rate eased to 4.5% that month from the 5% in September and the 7.4% in October last year.

However, the labor force participation rate declined to 64.2% in October from 65.2% in September, or about 49.35 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and over who were either employed or unemployed.

“Negative spillovers from Wall Street and neighboring markets also weighed on sentiment,” Mr. Plopenio said in a Viber message.

On Tuesday, Wall Street extended its losing streak to four sessions on concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s rate hike path and fears of looming recession, Reuters reported.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 350.76 points or 1.03% to close at 33,596.34; the S&P 500 lost 57.58 points or 1.44% to finish at 3,941.26; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 225.05 points or 2% to end on 11,014.89.

Back home, the majority of the sectoral indices closed lower on Wednesday. Property lost 98.53 points or 3.33% to close at 2,856.12; holding firms decreased by 168.01 points or 2.60% to 6,282.04; financials fell by 33.13 points or 1.97% to 1,642.86; and industrials shaved off 148.65 points or 1.57% to end at 9,322.42.

Meanwhile, mining and oil added 87.46 points or 0.83% to close at 10,510.37 and services climbed by 10.29 points or 0.61% to 1,688.05.

Value turnover inched up to P6.05 billion on Wednesday with 498.99 million shares changing hands from P6.04 billion with 582.78 million issues traded on Tuesday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 104 to 68, while 47 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned sellers anew on Wednesday, with 666.39 million in net selling versus the P270.44 million in net purchases seen the previous trading day.

Unicapital Securities’ Mr. Maderaje placed the PSEi’s short-term support level at 6,400 and resistance at 6,800. — J.I.D. Tabile