By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

LOCAL EQUITIES firmed up on the last trading week of 2017 on window dressing despite thinner trading volume.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 58.6 points or 0.69% to 8,490.91.

The broader all-shares index also increased by 0.40% or 20.1 points to 4,941.51.

“Today we were up by 58 points because start na ng window dressing for the closing of the books of the listed firms. Ganyan talaga ang mangyayari ngayon (That is really what’s going to happen now), the index is now expected to go up and maintain its 8,400 level,” A&A Securities, Inc. Analyst Jeng T. Calma said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s gains come amid a value turnover of only P3.6 billion after 1.23 billion issues changed hands, significantly lower than the P10.15-billion turnover the market recorded last Friday.

“In a holiday shortened week, with most global markets closed on Monday, volumes stayed low given many traders will be away until after New Year,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

Mr. Limlingan added that there was little market moving news to boost the bourse until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, A&A’s Ms. Calma noted that with the continued window dressing among investors, the bellwether index could close within the 8,500 to 8,600 level by the end of 2017.

All sectoral indices moved to positive territory by the end of the trading day, with the property sector leading the charge with a 1.19% increase or 46.44 points to 3,950.50. Financials climbed 0.72% or 15.64 points to 2,174.59; services rose 0.59% or 9.51 points to 1,613.82; while industrials increased 0.56% or 62.70 points to 11,189.06.

The holding firms counter increased 0.37% or 32.32 points to 8,620.46, while mining and oil saw a 0.09% uptick or 10.31 points to 11,385.27.

Decliners and advancers were almost equally split, 104 to 103, while 43 names were flat.

Net foreign buying widened to P349.46 million on Wednesday, up from the P185.23-million net inflow recorded last Friday. Markets were closed on Monday and Tuesday for the Christmas holidays.

The local market defied the movement of US stocks, which declined on Tuesday as Apple and shares of its parts suppliers weakened on a report of soft iPhone X demand, which pulled technology shares lower.

According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily, citing unidentified sources, Apple will slash its sales forecast for its flagship phone in the current quarter to 30 million units, down from what it said was an initial plan of 50 million units.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.85 points or 0.03% to 24,746.21; the S&P 500 lost 2.84 points or 0.11% to 2,680.50; and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 23.71 points or 0.34% to 6,936.25. — with Reuters