SHARES continued to rally on Thursday, tracking Wall Street’s performance, even as other markets in the region closed lower amid the crisis faced by China’s Evergrande.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 14.64 points or 0.20% to close at 7,311.72 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index gained 8.68 points or 0.19% to 4,474.92.

“Philippine shares closed slightly higher, tracking the performance of the US market as investors parsed the [US Federal Reserve’s] latest Beige Book reading,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“According to the report, the US economy is growing at a modest to moderate pace, but remains under pressure from inflation and labor shortages,” Mr. Limlingan said.

US employers reported significant increases in prices and wages even as economic growth decelerated to a “modest to moderate” pace in September and early October, the Fed said on Wednesday in its latest compendium of reports about the economy, Reuters reported.

Overnight on Wall Street, strong earnings helped the Dow Jones touch a record peak during trade and the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to finish within a whisker of its record closing high. The Nasdaq eased slightly.

“Philippine stocks crossed the 7,300 level on follow-through buying,” Manny P. Cruz, equities strategist at Papa Securities Corp., said in a text message.

“Select index-linked issues… kept the index afloat as most Asian markets closed in the red amid renewed concerns on China’s property giant Evergrande,” he added.

Evergrande Group secured a three-month extension on a defaulted bond, a day after a $2.6-billion deal to sell a stake in its services failed. Mr. Cruz said failure to sell the shares casted “doubts that the embattled firm will be able to meet its obligations as the 30-day grace period expire this week.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.3% higher to touch a one-month top. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.3% and S&P 500 futures were flat.

Sectoral indices were split on Thursday. Mining and oil improved by 226.75 points or 2.18% to 10,608.65; holding firms climbed 102.68 points or 1.41% to 7,356.77; and industrials went up by 25.06 points or 0.23% to 10,798.97.

Meanwhile, financials dropped 29.28 points or 1.86% to finish at 1,542.50; services lost 2.55 points or 0.13% to 1,870.29; and property shed 1.74 points or 0.05% to 3,368.89.

Value turnover increased to P10.15 billion with 1.06 billion shares switching hands on Thursday, higher than the P9.44 billion with 1.34 billion issues traded on Wednesday.

Advancers outperformed decliners, 105 against 85, while 55 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers anew, logging P304.53 million in net purchases on Thursday versus the P31.57 million in net outflows seen the previous trading session. — K.C.G. Valmonte with Reuters