LOCAL SHARES declined on Tuesday as investors started worrying about the rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases overseas.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) slid 15.04 points or 0.25% to close at 5,894.28. The broader all shares index trimmed 4.84 points or 0.13% to end at 3,543.93.

“Philippine shares weakened amid concerns about the COVID-19 trajectory in Europe…,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

Several European countries have again imposed restrictions as COVID-19 cases there surged to 4.49 million as of Tuesday. A total of 42,965 new cases have been recorded across the region in just the last two days.

This prompted Britain to consider a national lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to announce new restrictions yesterday.

“The PSEi continued sideways again and ended with a slight loss… A spike in new COVID-19 cases abroad may have negatively affected the sentiment,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

After nearly nine months since the virus broke out in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has infected 31.32 million individuals and killed 964,765 worldwide, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

The dampened sentiment put most sectoral indices at the PSE in red territory at the market’s close. Financials shed 8.69 points or 0.75% to 1,142.55; property lost 17.77 points or 0.64% to 2,744.43; industrials dropped 15.82 points or 0.20% to 7,803.99; and mining and oil slipped 6.82 points or 0.11% to 6,007.89.

On the other hand, services gained 1.56 point or 0.10% to 1,455.41, and holding firms climbed 4.06 points or 0.06% to 6,146.71 at the end of Tuesday’s session.

Some 4.4 billion issues valued at P4.63 billion switched hands on Tuesday against Monday’s 2.13 billion issues worth P4.27 billion.

Decliners outpaced advancers, 105 against 86, while 46 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling increased to P655.13 million on Tuesday from P551.85 million a day ago.

Asian shares were broadly weaker Tuesday as possible delays in expanded US stimulus and concerns about fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe dented the recent positive sentiment towards global equity markets, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.68%.

A burst of positive sentiment emerged briefly in China as the blue-chip index traded higher, but the market then again slipped into negative territory.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.84%, the S&P 500 lost 1.16%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.13%. — Denise A. Valdez with Reuters