PHILIPPINE shares posted gains on Tuesday on the back of a better-than-expected September inflation print and improving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) numbers.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 20.35 points or 0.29% to close at 6,981.24 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index rose 9.98 points or 0.23% to finish at 4,358.17.

“Philippine shares were bought up towards closing as September inflation came in much better than most had anticipated,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Headline inflation stood at 4.8% in September, slowing from the 4.9% logged in August but faster than the 2.3% print recorded in the same month last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday.

The latest figure is below the 5% median in a BusinessWorld poll conducted late last week and is at the low end of the 4.8%-5.6% estimate given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the month.

Inflation averaged at 4.5%, still above the BSP’s 2-4% target and 4.4% forecast for this year.

“Market sustained its uptrend today as transmission rate of the pandemic virus continue its downtrend projection that will eventually ease [restrictions] going into the fourth quarter,” Aniceto K. Pangan, equity trader at Diversified Securities, Inc., said in a text message on Tuesday.

On Monday, the country logged 10,748 new COVID-19 infections. Active cases stood at 106,160.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research and Engagement Supervisor Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said the improvement in the country’s COVID-19 situation helped boost market sentiment.

“In the earlier part of the trading day however, the market was in the negative territory amid profit taking caused by the negative spillovers from Wall Street,” Mr. Tantiangco said in a separate Viber message.

“Trading for the day was tepid with [the] net value turnover… below the year-to-date average of P7.15 billion,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

Value turnover increased to P6.57 billion with 1.08 billion shares switching hands on Tuesday, rising from the P5.89 billion with 955.46 million issues traded the previous day.

Majority of sectoral indices climbed on Tuesday except for financials, which declined by 6.64 points or 0.46% to 1,413.24, and property, which went down by 2.87 points or 0.09% to end at 3,002.62.

Meanwhile, services increased by 19.62 points or 1% to 1,971.31; industrials climbed 61.27 points or 0.59% to 10,329.89; holding firms rose 30.10 points or 0.43% to 7,017.33; and mining and oil went up by 36.28 points or 0.37% to close at 9,627.41.

Decliners beat advancers, 106 against 84, while 58 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went up to P709.34 million on Tuesday, more than double the P336.54 million logged the previous day. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte