PHILIPPINE shares closed higher on Wednesday as investors were optimistic about the country’s improving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) climbed 92.82 points or 1.36% to end at 6,902.54 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index gained 43.08 points or 1.04% to 4,160.21.

“The market ended higher [on Wednesday]… as participants feel optimistic over the COVID-19 situation in the country, and as foreigners continue to be net buyers in the local bourse,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a Viber message.

“We think investors, at this point, continue to keep focus on improving prospects for the months ahead given the continuing pickup in vaccinations, and further relaxation of business and mobility restrictions,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Director Rastine Mackie D. Mercado said in an e-mail.

“Foreign funds over the past several days are also buoying bullish prospects for the index as they were net buyers for eight out of the past nine trading days,” Mr. Mercado added.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a separate Viber message that investors returned to the Philippines, “while remaining on a wait-and-see mode ahead of the release of the US inflation data.”

Net foreign buying soared to P1.09 billion on Wednesday from the P29.01 million seen on Tuesday.

The government reported that the Philippines has already administered 6,096,208 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far. Some 4,491,948 Filipinos have received their first vaccine dose, while 1,604,260 have gotten their second.

The Philippines is also expecting to receive 11 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month, which include Pfizer, Sputnik V, and Sinovac.

All sectoral indices closed in the green on Wednesday. Property improved by 86.49 points or 2.57% to end at 3,448.10; industrials went up by 122.99 points or 1.34% to 9,241.28; financials gained 19.42 points or 1.34% to 1,465.99; holding firms increased by 63.37 points or 0.92% to finish at 6,944.91; mining and oil rose by 65.28 points or 0.68% to close at 9,553.96; and services inched up by 3.74 points or 0.24% to 1,533.63.

Value turnover rose to P7.58 billion with 2.02 billion shares switching hands on Wednesday, from the P5.29 billion with 2.37 billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Advancers outperformed decliners, 138 against 61, while 52 names closed unchanged.

“We expect the market to head higher tomorrow following today’s surge,” China Bank Securities’ Mr. Mercado said. “However, we expect stronger selling pressure and volatility to emerge near the 7,000-7,100 resistance as some investors may look to take profit more aggressively.”

Meanwhile, Timson Securities’ Mr. Pangan wants to see if the 6,900 level of the index will hold in the last two trading days of the week. He placed the PSEi’s resistance at 7,080. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte