THE main index surged to the 7,100 level on Monday on optimism about the economy’s prospects on the back of the improving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in the country.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 217.15 points or 3.14% to close at 7,124.01 on Monday, while the broader all shares index climbed 85.38 points or 1.96% to 4,423.90.

This was the biggest one-day percentage increase since the 3.23% logged on June 2. It was also the PSEi’s highest close since the 7,140.29 recorded on Jan. 21, 2021.

Papa Securities Corp. Equities Strategist Manny P. Cruz said shares “leaped above the 7,100 level on renewed optimism in the economy.”

“Market sentiment was buoyed by news that NCR (National Capital Region) and nearby urban areas might become at low risk from the pandemic by the end of October amid decreasing infections,” Mr. Cruz said in a text message, adding that the market is anticipating eased quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

“The stabilizing supply of vaccines in the country, the continuous inoculation campaign, and the downtrend in cases, spark hopes that the local economy will be further reopened,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research and Engagement Supervisor Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

“Trading was strong… above the year-to-date average of P7.23 billion,” Mr. Tantiangco said.

Value turnover dipped to P11.76 billion with 2.44 billion shares switching hands on Monday, down from the P25 billion with 1.9 billion issues traded on Friday.

On Sunday, the Health department logged 12,159 new COVID-19 cases, bringing active infections to 90,927. The country’s positivity rate stood at 15.9%.

Fredegusto Guido P. David, a research fellow at the OCTA Research Group, told DZMM TeleRadyo they expect Metro Manila to be considered “low risk” for COVID-19 as the country logs lower cases.

The government is expected to announce new quarantine restrictions this week as the implementation of the Alert Level System in Metro Manila lapses on Friday, Oct. 15.

All sectoral indices posted gains on Monday. Property rose 167.65 points or 5.47% to finish at 3,229.50; financials went up by 65.98 points or 4.49% to 1,533.21; holding firms climbed 186.35 points or 2.74% to 6,986.53; mining and oil improved by 175.61 points or 1.80% to end at 9.902.01; industrials gained 183.64 points or 1.77% to 10,545.08; and services inched up by 2.93 points or 0.15% to close at 1,921.43.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 122 against 60, as 58 names remained unchanged.

Foreigners turned sellers anew with P820.74 million logged in net outflows on Monday, swinging from the P1.47 billion seen in net purchases on Friday. Papa Securities’ Mr. Cruz said this includes the P769-million block sale of Wilcon Depot, Inc. stocks.

Wilcon joined the 30-member PSEi on Monday, replacing First Gen Corp. after the latter conducted a tender offer. — K.C.G. Valmonte