Investors stayed on the sidelines as the market returned to action, resulting in a trading that was largely sluggish after a long holiday weekend.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index slipped by 0.23 percent or 14.9 points to end at 6,368.80, extending its losing streak to five.

Also closing in the negative territory was the broader All Shares index, which dipped by 0.21 percent or 7.21 points at 3,440.54.

'The local bourse opened this shortened-trading week in the red amid talks that the BSP will implement fewer rate cuts this year, taking cues from the US Fed moves,' Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital said.

Sectoral gauges were a mixed bag, with industrial leading the charge with a 0.84 percent increase.

Financials took the biggest hit, dropping by 1.97 percent, followed by services which shed 0.42 percent.

Market breadth was negative as decliners edged out advancers, 96 to 86, while 51 issued were unchanged.

Total value turnover started the week thin at P2.85 billion.

Among the most actively traded stocks were ICTSI (down 0.12 percent), SM Investments (down 0.48 percent), Jollibee Foods Corp. (down 1.44 percent), Ayala Corp. (down 0.26 percent) and Bloomberry (down 1.37 percent).

Meanwhile, Asian and European equities rallied yesterday, tracking another tech-driven record on Wall Street, while investors awaited fresh US economic data to get a better handle on the outlook for inflation.

With few major catalysts to drive business, the thoughts of Federal Reserve officials this week will be parsed for an idea about their plans for interest rates after lowering their guidance for how many cuts they would make this year.

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