THE MAIN INDEX closed higher on Friday as investors gained some optimism before heading into the weekend.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) picked up 65.57 points or 1.11% to close at 5,967.96, while the broader all shares index added 23.82 points or 0.67% to end at 3,577.38.

The PSEi dropped to a low of 5,888.36 early in the day but quickly entered green territory where it stayed for the rest of the session, reaching a peak of 5,967.96 upon closing.

“Local shares closed higher as investor hopes for a further recovery took precedence over weak labor market data and a lack of progress on another fiscal stimulus bill in Washington,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

Economic data released recently point to some recovery: the unemployment rate went down to 10% in July from a record 17.7% in April, foreign portfolio investments rose 42% in May after a three-month decline, and cash remittances grew 7.7% in June after contracting since March.

These data, along with the relative slowdown in local coronavirus cases this week, helped improve investor sentiment.

The PSEi’s movement was also in line with some Asian markets, such as Japan, China and Hong Kong, which were trading in green territory when the local bourse closed.

Meanwhile, US stocks fell on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices went down by 1.45%, 1.76% and 1.99%, respectively.

Most sectoral indices at the local bourse ended Friday’s session with gains. Holding firms rose 117.08 points or 1.92% to 6,212.94; services grew 16.50 points or 1.12% to 1,487.51; property climbed 16.68 points or 0.61% to 2,733.67; and industrials improved 41.13 points or 0.51% to 8,071.54.

However, mining and oil shed 18.37 points or 0.30% to 5,991.36 and financials dropped 2.91 points or 0.25% to 1,150.90 at the end of trading.

Some 1.11 billion issues valued at P4.18 billion switched hands on Friday, growing from the previous day’s 770.87 million issues worth P5.96 billion.

Decliners narrowly beat decliners, 92 against 90, while 51 names ended unchanged.

Foreign investors returned to selling on Friday, posting net outflows of P527.02 million versus net purchases worth P420.91 million on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez