By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

THE BOURSE yesterday resumed its ascent towards 8,500 after Wednesday’s respite, fueled by general optimism over the Philippine and global economies that left only two of the six sectoral indices in the red.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 55.64 points or 0.66% to end 8,487.37, while the all-shares index added 26.01 points or 0.52% to 4,950.47.

The PSEi has seen 10 record-high closes, so far this year, the last being its 8,497.74 finish last Oct. 17, during which it also breached the 8,500 mark for the first time and climbed to a new all-time intraday high of 8,586.73 earlier that day.

“I think the rally is still on the back of optimism in the near term,” AB Capital Senior Research Analyst Lexter A Azurin said in a text message on Thursday.

Wall Street itself hit record highs on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 160.16 points or 0.70% to end at 23,157.60, the S&P 500 gaining 1.90 points or 0.07% to 2,561.26 and the Nasdaq Composite adding 0.56 point or 0.01% to 6,624.22.

Joylin F. Telagen, equity research analyst at IB Gimenez Securities, Inc. attributed PSEi’s gains yesterday to China reporting third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6.8%, meeting expectations.

“Next week, though, investors will watch how US economy grows,” Ms. Telagen said in a text message, as the world’s largest economy is slated to release on Oct. 27 it’s growth figures for the July-September period.

“After this important data, investors will move back to look how corporate earnings perform, until Nov. 15, and could possibly evaluate PSEi current valuation,” she added.

“How Phil[ippine] economy grows after, I think, this is something to look at over the next four weeks.”

The Philippine Statistics Authority will report third-quarter GDP data on Nov. 16.

AB Capital’s Mr. Azurin added that investors are anticipating “favorable results from some of the major companies” — an optimism that has also fueled recent record gains.

Four sectoral indices turned around to end Thursday with gains: financials increased by 29.48 points or 1.43% to finish 2,087.26, holding firms added 70.54 points or 0.81% to 8,736.91, property climbed by 21.26 points or 0.54% to 3,952.57, while mining and oil rose by 54.68 points or 0.41% to close at 13,172.34.

Only two sub-indices remained with losses: industrials dropped 28.37 points or 0.25% to finish 10,931.41, services gave up 0.39 of a point or 0.02% to end at 1,699.98.

Trading volume thinned to 900.43 million shares worth P7.88 billion from Wednesday’s 1.36 billion worth P9.26 billion.

Foreigners continued to dump stocks, although net sales declined by 28.74% to P463.86 million from Wednesday’s P650.97 million.

The list of Thursday’s 20 most actively traded stocks showed those that gained led by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. that climbed by 5.58% to P60.50 apiece; MacroAsia Corp. that added 5.15% to P19.20; Ayala Corp. that increased by 4.30% to P1,116; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. that went up by 2.56% to P92; SSI Group, Inc. that rose by 2.38% to P4.30 and Ayala Land, Inc. by 2.12% to finish P43.35 each.

Those that lost were led by Universal Robina Corp. that dropped 2.91% to P140.10 apiece; Alliance Global Group, Inc. that fell by 2.40% to P15.48; Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. that went down 1.57% to P93.80 and GT Capital Holdings, Inc. that gave up 1.70% to P1,215 each.