By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX ran past the 7,900 level on the last trading day of April, as investors were upbeat on the release of gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation data next week.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) jumped 0.7% or 55.70 points to close at 7,952.72 on Tuesday, managing to close higher despite flattish movement in early trading. The all-shares index likewise rose 0.51% or 25.17 points to 4,889.56.

“We think the PSEi’s performance is attributed to the upcoming release of economic data heavyweights such as GDP and inflation data with upside bias,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in a text message.

Mr. Tan also noted the rally seen in United States markets overnight, after the S&P 500 index reached a 52-week high due to strong corporate earnings.

At Wall Street, S&P 500 added 0.11% or 3.15 points to 2,943.03. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out gains of 0.04% or 11.06 points to 26,554.39, while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 0.19% or 15.46 points to 8,161.86.

“Net foreign buying registered at P413.28 million (on Tuesday). This is also why the local bourse is up. Year-to-date net foreign buying is at P42.72 billion compared to negative P38 billion in the prior year,” Mr. Tan added.

Yesterday’s net foreign buying figure marks a reversal of the previous session’s net foreign outflow of P42.91 million.

For Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, it was month-end window dressing that supported the PSEi.

“Window dressing in the Philippines and weaker inflation data drove the market today for the last trading session of April,” Mr. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message on Tuesday.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Department of Economic Research projects inflation to be within the 2.7%-3.5% range for April, lower than its forecast last March of 3.1%.3.9%.

Inflation averaged 3.8% in the first quarter and is expected to settle at 3% for the entire year, within the government’s 2-4% target.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to release official inflation data on May 7.

Four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by the industrials counter which soared 1.17% or 135.33 points to 11,608.92. Property firmed up 1.06% or 45.57 points to 4,329; holding firms went up 0.47% or 35.75 points to 7,638.20; while services gained 0.18% or 2.92 points to 1,586.18.

In contrast, mining and oil fell 0.52% or 40.57 points to 7,720.61. Financials also slipped 0.01% or 0.29 point to 1,743.66.

Turnover improved to P6.98 billion after some 943.57 million issues switched hands, versus Monday’s P5.81 billion.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 99 to 89, while 49 names were unchanged.