PHILIPPINE STOCKS declined for the second straight session on Wednesday as the peso stayed at the 58-a-dollar level, weighing investor sentiment.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 0.39% or 26.44 points to close at 6,607.22. The broader all-share index shed 0.33% or 11.82 points to 3,523.95.

“The local market extended its decline as the Philippine peso remained below the P58 mark against the US dollar,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The peso’s weakening could have many negative impacts on our economy, one of which is the upward pressure it may exert on inflation if this trend persists,” she added.

On Wednesday, the peso closed at P58.06 a dollar, 21 centavos stronger than a day earlier, according to Bankers Association of the Philippines data. Its P58.27 close on Tuesday was the weakest in 18 months.

“Investors remained on the sidelines as many eagerly await US index heavyweight Nvidia’s latest earnings report,” Luis A. Limlingan, sales head at Regina Capital Development Corp., said in a Viber message. “Traders are also anticipating the minutes from the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting and April’s existing home sales data.”

Most sectoral indexes closed lower. Property lost 1.38% or 35.62 points to 2,531.86, while financials went down by 1.16% or 23.51 points to 2,004.06.

Mining and oil fell by 1.07% or 103.42 points to 9,563.04, while industrials shed 0.17% or 16.33 points to 9,184.05.

On the other hand, services gained 0.89% or 17.84 points to 2,004.24, while holding firms added 0.17% or 9.91 points to 5,840.94.

“Among the index members, Semirara Mining and Power Corp. achieved the top spot, gaining 2.96%, while Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. was at the bottom, losing 3.15%,” Ms. Alviar said.

Value turnover fell to P5.36 billion, with 1.34 billion shares changing hands. Turnover on Tuesday was 2.95 billion stocks worth P9.8 billion. Losers beat winners 111 to 82, while 50 stocks were unchanged.

Net foreign selling jumped to P644.63 million from P70.56 million on Tuesday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave