By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

PHILIPPINE SHARES opened the trading week lower as investors grew more cautious over the increasing number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases across the world.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 86.66 points or 1.4% to close Monday’s session at 6,105.18. The broader all shares index declined by 34.29 points or 0.94% to 3,596.86.

Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said the correction in the local bourse was in line with regional markets, which recorded declines due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

At the close of the PSE, most Asian markets were treading in red territory. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix indices closed 2.30% and 1.78% down.

Mr. Pangan noted the Philippines is notable because of the quick jump in COVID-19 cases in the country. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on Sunday that the Philippines was seeing the fastest rise in COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific region, based on data from the World Health Organization.

“With our country among the fastest rising new cases in the Western Pacific, we may possibly see a reversal to stricter quarantine measures in order to control the rise in the transmission of the coronavirus,” Mr. Pangan said in a text message.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said aside from the Philippines, other countries have also been tallying rising COVID-19 cases following the lifting of lockdowns.

Some 10.15 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded across the world as of Monday, where the United States and Brazil led other nations with 2.55 million and 1.34 million cases, respectively.

“Global cases of COVID-19 surged past 10 million and are multiplying faster than ever — a rebuff to health experts and world leaders who had hoped the virus would fade away in the summer heat,” Mr. Limlingan said.

These numbers pushed investors to be more careful in trading. All sectoral indices at the PSE closed lower after Monday’s session: financials by 34.24 points or 2.76% to 1,204.72; holding firms by 131.25 points or 2.03% to 6,313.22; services by 11.57 points or 0.83% to 1,382.93; mining and oil by 21.95 points or 0.42% to 5,147.91; industrials by 13.22 points or 0.17% to 7,613.85; and property by 2.73 points or 0.09% to 3,045.59.

Value turnover stood at P5.55 billion with 1 billion issues switching hands, slightly higher than Friday’s value turnover of P5.3 billion.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 142 against 63, while 44 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling was sustained on Monday, growing to P907.99 million from the last session’s P862.97 million.