The stock market plunged for a second straight session, with the benchmark index falling below the 6,600 level, as it continued to track the decline in US equities.

The main Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped 1.59 percent or 106.62 points to end yesterday's session at 6,583.65.

Also closing in negative territory was the broader All Shares index, which lost 47.78 points or 1.35 percent.

'The local index stretched its losing streak to close the month on the Fed's remarks that it will raise its interest rates still to temper inflation despite potentially negative impacts on the economy and corporate profits,' said Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital.

Almost all local counters finished in the red, except for property which posted a 0.98 percent increase.

Holding firms suffered the biggest drop at 3.50 percent, followed by service and mining and oil which declined by 1.56 percent and 1.02 percent, respectively.

'The main index also breached the 6,600 support level amid a lack of positive catalysts. If the market will not return above 6,600, then the next support would be at the 6,400 level,' Philstocks Financial Inc. research analyst Claire Alviar said.

Market breadth remained negative as decliners crushed advancers, 128 to 67, while 42 stocks were unchanged.

Value turnover expanded to P8.87 billion from the previous day's P5.98 billion.

Around Asia, stocks followed Wall Street lower after strong US jobs data fueled expectations of further interest rate hikes and Chinese manufacturing activity weakened.

US government data Tuesday showed there were two jobs for every unemployed person in July appeared to support arguments the economy can tolerate more rate hikes to tame inflation that is running at multi-decade highs. Some investors had hoped the Federal Reserve would back off due to indications economic activity is cooling.

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