By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

PHILIPPINE shares ended in positive territory on Monday as investors were optimistic on the development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and the lifting of local quarantine measures at the end of the month.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 8.83 points or 0.12% to close at 7,178.62 while the broader all-shares index improved 34.87 points or 0.82% to end at 4,254.26.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said the market ended with “minor gains” as investors pocketed profits before the market’s close.

“Investors remain optimistic that the economy is going to get a massive boost once quarantine restrictions are lifted at the end of November,” Mr. Mangun said in an e-mail.

“We saw a wave of selling right before the close as investors rushed to take profits from the extended rally. Bank stocks continue to lead the market’s rally with the financial index ending with a substantial 3.33% gain,” he added.

Timson Securities, Inc. trader Darren T. Pangan said the local market ended higher as investors reacted positively to news on the progress made on COVID-19 vaccine candidates despite rising cases in other areas of the country.

Companies developing COVID-19 vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac, among others.

The Department of Health recently reported that areas outside of Metro Manila, such as Cavite, Davao City, Laguna, and Quezon Province recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases.

On Monday, majority of the sectoral indices ended in positive territory except for property, which fell 62.93 points or 1.73% to 3,556.78; and services, which dropped 0.4 points or 0.02% to 1,557.37.

Meanwhile, financials jumped 47.62 points or 3.33% to 1,477.57; mining and oil climbed 227.44 points or 2.77% to 8,416.86; industrials went up 44.56 points or 0.48% to 9,314.49; and holding firms edged up 19.17 points or 0.25% to close Monday’s session at 7,424.29.

Some 10.30 billion issues valued at P11.93 billion switched hands on Monday against 32.04 billion issues equivalent to P10.94 billion on Friday.

Advancers outpaced decliners, 147 against 77, while 45 names ended unchanged. Foreigners turned sellers, logging a net outflow of P351.89 million yesterday versus the net buying worth P211.34 million logged on Friday.

AAA’s Mr. Mangun said the main index is expected to decline further in the following days as profit-taking continues.

Meanwhile, Timson’s Mr. Pangan said the nearest support for the index is pegged at 7,000 while immediate resistance may be placed at 7,600.