By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) finished above the 8,000 level on Wednesday as investors returned to the local market on an improved outlook.

The bourse closed at 8,020.06 after rising by 28.87 points or 0.36% at yesterday’s session. The broader all-shares index also added 13.94 points or 0.29% to end at 4,801.11.

“The bulls were finally able to pierce 8,000 and re-establish a beach-head at 8,020,” PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona said in a mobile-phone message. “Value turnover is still a bit on the thin side, but should improve if the bulls are able to keep the market above 8,000.”

Mr. Lisbona said the local bourse attracted back investors who anticipated “a year-end rally that should follow through until around January.”

“The economic picture moving forward is rosy, given tame inflation and an accommodative monetary policy stance on top of the positive economic effects of the government’s infrastructure program,” he said.

Luis A. Limlingan, sales head at Regina Capital Development Corp., traced the PSEi’s growth to “window dressing” as the US-China trade talks and the reporting of corporate earnings drew positive sentiments from investors.

The main index moved opposite the decline in most foreign markets. Wall Street was flat on Tuesday — the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both inched lower by 0.07% and 0.08% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.59%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.57%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.44%; China’s Shanghai SE Composite index slipped 0.5%; and South Korea’s KOSPI index lost 0.59%.

At the PSE, sectoral indices ended mixed. Property increased 18.43 points or 0.44% to 4,207.22; financials advanced 28.64 points or 1.49% to 1,940.95; and holding firms added 5.09 points or 0.06% to 7,828.98.

On the other hand, mining and oil lost 42.57 points or 0.45% to close at 9,243.34, while the industrial index slid by 14 points or 0.13% to 10,473.73. Services fell by 10.72 points or 0.7% to 1,515.97.

Value turnover stood at P5.99 billion, lower than Tuesday’s P6.63 billion, with 1.13 billion shares changing hands.

Gainers beat decliners 90-80, while 54 stocks were unchanged.

Foreign investors remained bullish with a net buying of P619.53 million from Tuesday’s P432.68 million.

If the PSEi, which has risen by 3% this month, can keep its growth momentum on Thursday, it will be the index’s best performance since January, said Christopher John Mangun, research head at AAA Southeast Equities, Inc.

“November will be a very interesting month as we will see the direction that the market is going to take until the end of the year,” he said in an e-mail.