THE MAIN INDEX gained for the third straight trading day as the week began, joining its regional peers in cheering signs of progress in resolving the raging Sino-US trade war.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 34.35 points or 0.43% to close at 7,884.29 on Monday — its best finish in 12 trading days — as the all shares index moved 17.60 points or 0.37% up to 4,759.09.

“Our index managed to close positive today after a partial deal has been reached between the US and China,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Jervin S. de Celis said in a text message. “(China) has already started buying agricultural products while the US has agreed not to increase tariffs from 25% to 30% which was originally set to take effect on Oct. 15.”

US President Donald Trump outlined last Friday the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a planned tariff hike.

The preliminary agreement and the suspension of the tariff are two motivators that investors took into consideration in today’s trading, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said. “These developments have eased concerns on the trade issue which has been one of the main culprits for the slowdown in global economic growth,” he said in a text message.

Aside from the trade talks, Mr. Tantiango also said even the slight strengthening of the peso against the greenback — to 51.57 per dollar on Monday from 51.58 on Friday last week, was another driver in yesterday’s trading. “The strong currency entices foreign investors to take positions in the local bourse,” he said.

Investors abroad turned slightly bullish with P68.06 million net foreign buying, turning around from Friday’s P233.69-million net sales.

The PSEi moved in tandem with other major Asia bourses. The Shanghai SE Composite index increased by 1.15%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 0.81%, South Korea’s Kospi by 1.11%, India’s S&P BSE Sensex by 0.56%, Singapore’s Straits Times Index by 0.26% and MSCI Asia APEX 50 by 1.11%. Japan’s markets were off on a holiday.

Five of the six sectoral indices back home gained: property by 27.18 points or 0.65% to 4,156.86, holding firms by 33.74 points or 0.44% to 7,704.12, industrials by 28.41 points or 0.26% to 10,705.79, financials by 4.46 points or 0.24% to 1,825.63 and services by 2.8 points or 0.18% to 1,529.12.

Only mining and oil dropped by 86.41 points or 0.94% to 9,091.95.

Stocks that advanced narrowly edged out those that lost 96 to 74, while 71 others ended flat.

Monday’s list of 20 most active stocks showed only three that retreated: Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. by 2.13% to P78.20 apiece; DMCI Holdings, Inc. by two percent to P8.82 and Axelum Resources Corp. by 0.67% to P4.47 each.

Those that gained were led by Kepwealth Property Philippines, Inc. (6.14% to P12.10 apiece), Megaworld Corp. (3.03% to P4.76), Alliance Global Group, Inc. (2.6% to P11.06) and Metro Pacific Investments (2.22% to P5.06).

Monday ended with 479.84million shares worth P3.76 billion changing hands, compared to Friday’s 428.87 million shares worth P4.50 billion. — Denise A. Valdez