PHILIPPINE shares picked up on Monday as Omicron fears subsided and on expectations that inflation slowed last month.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose 75.55 points or 1.07% on Monday to close at 7,130.74, while the broader all shares index went up by 21.89 points or 0.57% to 3,812.09.

“Market took cue from health experts views’ that early indications of the gravity of the Omicron variant are a bit encouraging,” Papa Securities Corp. Equities Strategist Manny P. Cruz said in a Viber message.

“Outside the country, investors are assessing the impact of Omicron variant on their open positions,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Initial data from South Africa, the epicenter of the outbreak of the Omicron variant, don’t show a resulting surge of hospitalizations, Bloomberg reported.

“PSEi [went] up on hopes for lower interest rates due to easing inflation, spurring market confidence for sustained corporate earnings recovery into 2022,” First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message.

Headline inflation likely eased in November amid a slower rise in food prices and a drop in pump prices, analysts said.

A BusinessWorld poll of 18 analysts yielded a median estimate of 4% for the November inflation, which is near the upper end of the 3.3% to 4.1% estimate given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

If realized, last month’s consumer price index will be within the 2-4% target of the BSP and slower than the 4.6% in October but quicker than the 3.7% logged a year earlier.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release the November inflation report on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

The BSP has kept benchmark rates at record lows since 2020 to support the economy’s recovery, and is expected to remain accommodative at least until the end of the year.

Most sectoral indices rose except for mining and oil, which fell 123.06 points or 1.31% to finish at 9,238.97.

On the other hand, services climbed 38.24 points or 1.97% to 1,976.76; financials increased 26.64 points or 1.70% to 1,585.13; property jumped 36.12 points or 1.12% to 3,252.83; industrials improved by 76.18 points or 0.73% to 10,383.23; and holding firms gained 18.26 points or 0.26% to end at 6,814.65.

Value turnover decreased to P6.55 billion with 1.32 billion shares traded on Monday from the P6.97 billion with 1.30 billion issues switching hands on Friday.

Advancers narrowly beat decliners, 94 against 93, while 52 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling increased to P269.52 million on Monday from the P181.60 million logged on Friday.

Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said investors will look to the listing of Medilines Distributors, Inc. on the PSE on Tuesday for leads.

“Meanwhile, we’ll have to see if support at 6,800 holds, while 7,454.50 seems to be the closest resistance area,” Mr. Pangan said in a Viber message. — M.C. Lucenio with Bloomberg