By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

SHARES CLIMBED on Thursday, as investors digested dovish comments from the United States Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) eked out gains of 0.06% or 5.41 points to close at 8,022.42. The broader all-shares index likewise rose 0.18% or 8.81 points to 4,891.38.

“Market continued its upward momentum today on dovish comments by US Fed & possible easing of interest rates on its next meeting plus the optimism created by the possibility of Xi — Trump meeting in Japan at the G20 to resolve the US-China tariff trade war,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message on Thursday.

The US Federal Open Market Committee on Thursday decided to keep benchmark rates unchanged. It also kept a dovish policy stance due to increased uncertainties in the global economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures.

This is in addition to the renewed optimism for the resolution of the US-China trade war, as US President Donald J. Trump earlier confirmed his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping by the end of the month.

The PSEi reflected the positive sentiment in Wall Street overnight, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average firmed up 0.15% or 38.46 points to 26,504. The S&P 500 index went up 0.3% or 8.71 points to 2,926.46, while the Nasdaq Composite index rallied 0.42% or 33.44 points to 7,987.32.

Most Asian indices also climbed on Thursday on the back of the Federal Reserve’s dovish comments.

“Investors in the Philippines quietly bought into the market as a precaution ahead of the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) announcement…while others took profit early morning after it was confirmed the Fed would maintain their rates,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile phone message.

After the stock market’s close, the BSP announced that it also chose to keep policy rates steady as the outlook for inflation remained manageable.

Four sectoral indices moved to positive territory, led by mining and oil which jumped 1.87% or 134.01 points to 7,291.35. Industrials advanced 0.74% or 87.32 points to 11,777.60; financials gained 0.64% or 11.13 points to 1,743.24; while holding firms added 0.15% or 11.88 points to 7,668.32.

Meanwhile, property dropped 0.39% or 16.89 points to 4,304.55, while services shed 0.38% or 6.47 points to 1,692.40.

Some 1.88 billion issues valued at P6.74 billion switched hands, slimming from the previous session’s P7.30 billion.

Foreign investors remained in net selling mode for the second straight session at P588.08 million, ballooning from Wednesday’s P26.43 million.

Advancers outpaced losers, 121 to 71, while 49 names were unchanged.