By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

SHARES rose on Wednesday as investors went bargain hunting after several days of losses.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 0.47% or 36.46 points to 7,797.75. The broader all-shares index also added 0.3% or 14.74 points to 4,804.79.

“PSEi closed higher on the back of bargain hunting fuelled by a better competitive ranking from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD),” Philstocks Financial, Inc. said in a market note on Wednesday.

The Philippines went up four notches in the 2019 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, although it remains to be one of the lowest compared to Asian peers.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan, meanwhile, said investors chose to buy local shares due to negative sentiment abroad.

“As regional markets grappled with the 10-year US Treasury yield at 19-month lows and China restricting offshore debt offering, investors continued buying into the local bourse in the meantime,” Mr. Limlingan said.

Weakness in US Treasury yields sent Wall Street lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.93% or 237.92 points to 25,347.77, while the S&P 500 index shed 0.84% or 23.67 points to 2,802.39. The Nasdaq Composite also went down 0.39% or 29.66 points to 7,607.35.

Most Asian indices also ended lower, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down by 1.21% or 256.77 points to 21,003.37. The Hang Seng index retreated 0.57% or 155.10 points to 27,235.71. In contrast, the Shanghai Composite eked out gains of 0.16% or 4.79 points to 2,914.70.

Back home, sectoral indices were equally split between gainers and losers. The industrials counter led those in positive territory, ending 1.29% or 143.73 points higher at 11,283.98. Holding firms rose 1.05% or 77.96 points to 7,464.95, while property went up 0.03% or 1.53 points to 4,237.81. Meanwhile, mining and oil went down 1.47% or 106.94 points to 7,140.65. Financials slumped 0.2% or 3.52 points to 1,693.03, while services also shed 0.2% or 3.45 points to 1,652.72.

Some 650.06 million issues switched hands valued at P6.11 billion, much lower than Tuesday’s P18.02-billion turnover.

Advancers and decliners were both at 92, while 52 names were unchanged.

Foreign investors continued to dump local stocks, as net foreign selling persisted for the 18th straight session at P304.87 million. This is, however, lower than the previous session’s net outflow worth P632.59 million.

“With MSCI (rebalancing) out of the way, issue now that continues to linger would be how US markets perform tonight, more so that the Dow and S&P closed in the red last night. A solid break above the 7,800 area puts the next resistance around 8,000,” Papa Securities Corp. Sales Associate Gabriel Jose F. Perez said in an e-mail on Wednesday.