STOCKS went up on Tuesday on the back of the improving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in the country and the implementation of the new alert level system in other areas besides Metro Manila.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 46.50 points or 0.64% to close at 7,266.31 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index went up by 20.47 points or 0.46% to end at 4,451.40.

“Market continued to move on uptrend as reproduction number of the virus slipped to 0.55 per OCTA, which may favor further easing of restrictions,” Aniceto K. Pangan, equity trader at Diversified Securities, Inc., said in a text message.

“The positive sentiment was driven by the improving COVID-19 cases at home with the implementation of alert level system in other areas outside NCR (National Capital Region),” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research and Engagement Officer Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Fredegusto Guido P. David, a research fellow at the independent OCTA Research Group, said the reproduction number in Metro Manila went down to 0.55 as of Monday, its lowest since May 18 when the reproduction number was at 0.56.

The Health department reported 6,943 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing active cases to 68,832. The country has recorded nearly 2.73 million COVID-19 cases.

The government on Tuesday said the alert level system piloted in Metro Manila will be implemented in other regions starting on Wednesday, Oct. 20, until the end of the month.

“Net market value turnover was at P8.24 billion, lower than the P9.27-billion average this month as investors await the third-quarter earnings result,” Ms. Alviar added.

Value turnover slowed to P8.54 billion with 1.34 billion shares switching hands on Tuesday, lower than the P11.25 billion with 1.1 billion issues traded the previous day.

Majority of sectoral indices closed in the red on Tuesday except for holding firms, which gained 149.03 points or 2.11% to close the session at 7,197.34, and industrials, which climbed 133.54 points or 1.26% to 10,721.19.

Meanwhile, mining and oil declined by 97.75 points or 0.90% to 10,650.42; financials lost 11.41 points or 0.72% to 1,573.55; property shed 21.97 points or 0.65% to finish at 3,355.23; and services inched down by 8.52 points or 0.45% to 1,871.54.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 105 against 90, while 51 names closed unchanged yesterday.

Foreigners turned sellers, logging P65.80 million in net outflows on Tuesday versus the P847.51 million in net purchases recorded at the end of Monday’s trading session.

Diversified Securities’ Mr. Pangan said the benchmark index may continue to trade within the 7,000 to 7,450 range for the rest of the week. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte