STOCKS opened the second quarter on a positive note, trekking higher on the back of positive economic data from the United States amid thinner trading.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 0.75% or 59.62 points to finish at 8,039.45 on Monday, April 2. The broader all-shares index likewise climbed 0.6% or 28.99 points to 4,869.55.

“It was up after the economic data coming out from the US on consumer spending. It was lower than the estimate, thereby resulting in the US treasury yields going down to lower than 2.75. This is indicative that aggressive rates increase by the US Fed (Federal Reserve) is still far-fetched,” Diversified Securities, Inc. equities trader Aniceto K. Pangan said by phone.

Mr. Pangan noted that the easing concern for higher interest rates in the US will creative positive sentiment in emerging markets such as the Philippines.

Four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by holding firms with a 1.62% uptick or 126.78 points to 7,965.87. The mining and oil counter jumped 1.49% or 162.58 points to 11,049.51; property gained 0.96% or 35.12 points to 3,681.97; while industrial added 0.39% or 44.72 points to 11,474.37.

On the other hand, services dropped 0.34% or 5.68 points to 1,666.14, alongside financials that gave up 0.33% or 6.97 points to 2,082.70.

Some 1.59 billion issues switched hands, valued at P4.55 billion, significantly lower than the P7.82-billion turnover in the previous session. Analysts attributed the day’s thin trading to the absence of investors who are only just returning from the Lenten break.

Advancers prevailed for the day, with 131 against 81 that declined and 36 that closed flat. Net foreign outflows dipped to P625.3 million on Monday, lower than the P1.12-billion in the previous session.

Twelve of the 20 most actively traded stocks saw gains, with Now Corp. soaring 12.33% to P9.20 each. MRC Allied Corp. also gained 6.9% to 62 centavos each, while SM Investments Corp. added 3.05% to P945 each. — Arra B. Francia