THE MAIN INDEX extended gains on Wednesday, hitting a new record high once more, as shares tracked gains in the US market.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 0.37% or 31.12 points to 8,344.05.

The all-shares index climbed 0.32% or 15.84 points to 4,907.84.

“The market seems to relish the new all-time high environment as investors are akin to hold on to their positions as the stock prices rise,” Frank Gerard J. Barboza, equity trader at Angping & Associates Securities, Inc., said via text.

“Optimism in the global market continues to influence local investors. Record high in Wall Street and an expected stronger global growth triggered market players to flock into the market,” First Grade Finance, Inc. Managing Director Astro C. del Castillo said in a mobile phone message.

Investors chose to shrug off news of higher valuations, crawling inflation and noise on the political front, added Mr. Del Castillo.

The three major US stock indexes posted record high closes for the second straight day on Tuesday, helped by gains in airlines and as car makers rose after strong September vehicle sales.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.07 points or 0.37% to close at 22,641.67; the S&P 500 gained 5.46 points or 0.22% to 2,534.58; and the Nasdaq Composite added 15 points or 0.23% to 6,531.71.

“We see a continuation of the bullishness across sectors, not to bar the influence on sentiment by major US indices hitting record highs again. We shall observe volume and volatility levels while in this new territory for the PSEi,” Angping & Associates’ Mr. Barboza said.

All sector counters saw gains on Wednesday, led by services, which went up 0.90% or 15.7 points to 1,747.08.

Industrials jumped 0.58% or 64.92 points to 11,180.69; mining and oil increased 0.36% or 50.86 points to 13,930.05; holding firms expanded 0.30% or 25.73 points to 8,452.98; financials rose 0.28% or 5.76 points to 2,002.73; and property edged up 0.19% or 7.45 points to 3,909.37.

Advancers trumped decliners at 106 to 88 as 62 issues were unchanged.

Value turnover went down to P6.55 billion from Tuesday’s P7.25 billion, with 2.48 billion shares changing hands.

For the third consecutive day this week, foreigners dumped shares, with net selling totaling P426.39 million, albeit down from the P689.83-million outflow logged on Tuesday.

“Several key speakers will keep investors searching for cues,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said, noting that St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is anticipated to deliver welcoming remarks at a conference on community banking at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, with Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen also expected to deliver remarks during the said event.

“Seems like [the] index could still trek higher but signs of profit taking is most probable,” said First Grade Finance’s Mr. Del Castillo. — Janina C. Lim with Reuters