PHILIPPINE stocks on Thursday climbed on bargain hunting after three days of decline in part after news that the country improved in the pandemic resilience ranking.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 128.86 points or 1.81% to close at 7,248.05, while the broader all shares index rose 41.23 points or 1.08% to 3,838.45.

“The local bourse gained as investors hunt for bargains after the market declined for three consecutive days. In addition, the Philippines’ improvement in Bloomberg’s COVID-19 resilience ranking has provided a positive sentiment as well,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research and Engagement Officer Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

After being at the bottom of the list for three consecutive months, the Philippines has finally inched up three spots from being the worst country to be in the time of the pandemic, according to Bloomberg’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resilience report for December.

“Philippine shares made a complete turnaround from Thursday’s selling, closing broadly higher as investors momentarily brushed aside fears from the spreading of the Omicron variant,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Research Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

The Department of Health has so far reported three Omicron variant cases in the country. The Philippines has recorded 288 new COVID-19 cases as of last count, bringing the total number of infections to 2,837,903 since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

“Market is cheering the record low infection rate, more vaccine arrival, and mild symptoms of Omicron, all somewhat assuring continued Philippine economy reopening going into 2022,” First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message.

A South African study suggested reduced risks of hospitalization and severe disease in people infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant versus the Delta variant, Reuters reported.

The World Bank on Wednesday approved a new loan that would help the country procure 27 million vaccine doses, which can serve as booster doses for medical frontliners and to inoculate wider population.

Meanwhile, all sectoral indices ended in the green led by holding firms, which gained 180.67 points or 2.62% to 7,058.51. Property increased 68.99 points or 2.18% to 3,225.20; mining and oil advanced 116.01 or 1.28% to 9,158.94; financials improved 13.20 points or 0.82% to 1,613.73; industrial gained 69.16 points or 0.66% to 10,408.93; and services inched up 12.98 points or 0.65% to 1,992.72.

Trading turnover dropped to P4.61 billion with 851.10 million shares switching hands on Thursday, from P6.03 billion recorded with 1.61 billion issued traded the previous trading day.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 115 against 58, while 49 names closed unchanged.

Foreigners turned buyers on Thursday with P282.34 million in net inflows, a reversal of the P173.79 million in net selling recorded on Wednesday. — Marielle C. Lucenio