SHARE prices closed higher Friday, propelled by bargain-hunting late in the session, with blue chips leading the main index higher as Jollibee posted a gain of more than 7%.

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed at 8,238.15, up 48.14 points or 0.59%, while the all-shares index closed at 4,982.50, up 16.06 points or 0.32%.

“In a stunning upward performance at the close, the PSEi’s value turnover reached a whopping P19.7 billion on the back of the FTSE recovery. The index managed to hold however, despite net foreign selling of P2.5 billion, the highest figure so far for this year,” Gio Perez of Papa Securities said in an e-mail.

The FTSE 100 closed higher on March 15, halting a three-day skid. It ended at 7,139.76, up 0.19%.

Jollibee Foods Corp. led the recovery with a 7.5% gain, ending at 305.40. SM Investments Corp ended 2.68% higher.

“The market’s performance Saturday, Mar 17 was due to bargain-hunting after the dip this morning sent the index into correction territory. Last-minute buying further lifted the index after JFC surprisingly closed strong Saturday, Mar 17 by 7%. Sy companies also helped the index stay above 8,200 after investors bought more of these stocks after they dclined in the double digits from their record highs last January,” Jervin S. de Celis, equities trader at Timson Securities Inc said in a message.

Holding firms closed at 8,484.16, up 1.22 points or 0.02%; industrials at 11,619.42, up 199.38 points or 1.75%; services at 1,729.23, up 5.04 points or 0.29%; and property at 3,713.03, up 58.47 points or 1.60%.

Mining and oil stocks were down 180.22 points or 1.58% at 11,222.83; while financials were down 2.65 points or 0.12% at 2,141.83.

Value traded was P19.7 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers 139 to 74 while 42 were flat. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo