PHILIPPINE SHARES continued their positive performance on Thursday on bargain hunting and the release of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth data.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 147.62 points or 1.97% to close at 7,616.35, while the broader all shares index climbed 67.41 points or 1.51% to end at 4,504.20.

“Today we saw the market surge by about 2%. This is due to bargain hunting following the fourth quarter/full-year 2019 GDP figures,” Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, senior research analyst at Philstocks Financial Inc. said in a text message on Thursday.

PNB Securities, Inc. President Manuel Antonio G. Lisbona shared the same sentiment and said, “given the bloodletting we had last Monday and Tuesday, many punters saw the market’s current levels as attractive enough to re-enter.”

“The release of GDP growth figures were also greeted with cheer, though very slightly short of the full-year government target,” he said in a text message.

The Philippine economy grew 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, which brought full-year expansion to 5.9%, below the government’s target range of between 6-6.5% GDP growth.

These figures matched the median estimates in a BusinessWorld poll last week.

The fastest growth was reported in the services sector at 7.9%, followed by industry (5.4%), and agriculture (1.4%). For the whole year, services reported the recorded the fastest growth at 7.1% followed by industry (4.9%), and agriculture (1.5%).

In line with good fourth quarter GDP data, Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said “you can expect a good earnings report for the fourth quarter.”

“This is a clear positioning by the investors ahead of the fourth-quarter earnings release after the market was downed in the previous sessions,” Mr. Pangan said.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial fell 9.77 points or 0.03% to 29,186.27, the S&P 500 index gained 0.96 points or 0.03% to 3,321.75, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 12.96 points or 0.14% to 9,383.77.

Back home, all sub-sectors gained, led by industrials, which added 256.09 points or 2.72% to close at 9,669.26. Holding firms went up by 161.02 points or 2.23% to end at 7,376.17; property advanced by 74.21 points or 1.92% to 3,936.13; financials rose 18.46 points or 1.02% to 1,813.08; services inched up 10.19 points or 0.66% to 1,535.43; and mining and oil gained 21.35 points or 0.27% to 7,879.51.

Some 669.94 million issues valued at P6.63 billion switched hands on Thursday, down from previous session’s 755.73 million issues worth P7.10 billion.

Stocks that gained outnumbered those that fell, 117 to 73, while 50 issues ended unchanged.

Net selling was at P132.60 million on Thursday, down from previous session’s net outflows worth P874.58 million. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang