LOCAL shares closed higher on Friday as investor optimism was spurred by the recent government announcement of a new quarantine scheme.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 46.49 points or 0.67% to finish at 6,970.51 while the broader all shares index increased 22 points or 0.51% to close at 4,302.79.

Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco, Philstocks Financial, Inc. senior research analyst, said the local bourse closed in positive territory on Friday as a result of investors hoping for the implementation of more relaxed lockdown protocols.

“Today’s rise is seen to reflect investors’ hopes that the guidelines of the more relaxed social restrictions with granular lockdowns for the National Capital Region (NCR) will be settled and implemented soon,” Mr. Tantiangco said in a mobile phone message.

Presidential Spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing on Friday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has “provisionally approved” the guidelines on a new alert level system that will be implemented in NCR from Sept. 16 to 30.

Mr. Roque said the IATF decided that there will now be only two quarantine levels for NCR, namely: enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

He added that GCQ restrictions under the new quarantine scheme will have alert levels, with alert level 4 being the highest, adding that granular lockdowns will be stricter than before.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail that the local bourse closed in positive territory as investors and fund managers continue to hold on to their positions amid several risk factors.

“The market is reflecting the current economic and social condition. The PSEi is just a few points away from the 7,000 key-level, which is its inflection point. The

market’s movement in the coming days will determine its trajectory in the medium to long term. This is also the case for the economy and the handling of the pandemic response,” Mr. Mangun said.

“We are at a ‘make-or-break’ moment in terms of the economic recovery and the health crisis management,” he added.

On Friday, financials was the lone sectoral index that ended in negative territory, down 1.95 points or 0.13% to end at 1,447.66.

In contrast, mining and oil gained 166.15 points or 1.72% to 9,805.94; services improved 29.66 points or 1.65% to 1,819.86; holding firms inched up 58.47 points or 0.83% to 7,040.06; industrials climbed 69.31 points or 0.68% to 10,223.31; and property went up 5.06 points or 0.16% to 3,107.99.

Value turnover on Friday reached P4.88 billion with 864.83 million issues switching hands, an increase compared with the P4.39 billion with 920.41 million shares traded the prior day.

Net foreign selling amounted to P53.32 million, down from the P271.16 million net foreign selling logged on Thursday.

Advancers bested decliners, 100 versus 90, while 54 names ended unchanged.

“Stock valuations may continue higher if the PSEi successfully breaks above the 7,000 key-resistance level in the coming sessions. Nonetheless, we advise investors to lighten positions as individual issues approach their respective resistance levels,” AAA Southeast Equities’ Mr. Mangun said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave