By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

LOCAL SHARES advanced on Monday as investor worries started to ease following last week’s economic data releases and the extension of the relaxed quarantine until the end of the month.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 150.76 points or 2.6% to close at 5,935.85, while the broader all shares index added 64.28 points or 1.84% to end at 3,558.01.

“The PSEi ended with substantial gains led by the recovery in large-cap property stocks Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and SM Prime Holdings, Inc.,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

ALI and SM Prime were the biggest gainers among blue chip stocks, growing 6.38% and 5.67% respectively, leading the other 24 PSEi members that posted gains on Monday. Only three PSEi members posted losses, while one ended flat.

“Investors may have gained optimism from the pickup in mall foot traffic over the weekend. The 5,690 support level proves to be a strong turning point,” Mr. Mangun said.

Aside from optimism towards property developers, overall investor sentiment improved due improved jobs data reported last week showing the unemployment rate slowed to 10% in July from 17.7% in April, Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said.

“[T]he drop in unemployment rate… was a sign of improvement in our labor market situation, which has somehow lessened macroeconomic concerns,” he said in a text message on Monday.

The claim of a researcher from the University of the Philippines that the coronavirus curve has already flattened and it also helped ease worries, he added.

“The main index may continue higher toward the end of the week,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said.

All sectoral indices ended in green territory at the close of the market on Monday. Property rose 107.15 points or 4.06% to 2,743.42; holding firms accelerated 165.89 points or 2.76% to 6,164.12; mining and oil increased 130.69 points or 2.18% to 6,122.77; financials climbed 20.60 points or 1.82% to 1,147.01; services grew 21.74 points or 1.49% to 1,477.15; and industrials picked up 101.76 points or 1.30% to 7,916.26.

Value turnover stood at P3.9 billion, lower than the last session’s P5.45 billion. Some 2.95 billion issues switched hands.

Philstocks’ Mr. Tantiangco noted the turnover was “anemic” and below the year-to-date average of P5.9 billion, which means the rally may not be sustainable.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 132 against 65, while 37 names ended unchanged.

Net foreign selling continued for the 14th straight day, reaching P841.39 million on Monday, up from Friday’s P770.19 million.