DESPITE resurfacing Omicron fears, Philippine stocks bounced back on Monday as traders prepare for year-end window dressing.

The Philippine Stocks Exchange index (PSEi) inched up by 72.94 points or 1.01% to close at 7,254.80 on Monday, while the broader all shares index gained 20.70 points or 0.54% to 3,842.96.

Value turnover increased to P3.87 billion with 1.10 billion shares switching hands on Monday, from the P2.11 billion with 3.28 billion issues traded on Friday.

“Markets were quietly bought up in low value turnover environment, with very few catalysts and most preparing for the year-end window dressing,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Portfolio managers usually window-dress to improve their clients’ investment portfolio by selling stocks with huge losses and buying high-flying stock by the end of the year.

“Trading was anemic, however, with net value turnover below the year-to-date average of P7.41 billion. This shows that many investors are staying out of the market due to the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

The Department of Health on Monday confirmed the detection of the country’s fourth case of Omicron, the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant.

Meanwhile, First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang noted that China central bank’s pledge of greater economic policy support amid a property sector downturn pushed the market pricing to brighter prospects for next year.

“This will help boost liquidity and risk appetite for Asian emerging markets including the Philippines,” Ms. Ulang said in a Viber message.

The People’s Bank of China said in a statement on Dec. 25 its commitment to be more proactive with its use of monetary policy tools to make its monetary policy more forward looking and targeted.

Asian markets dropped on Monday as Omicron worries weigh. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.20%; South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.11%; Shanghai’s benchmark slid 0.37%, Reuters reported.

Back home, most sectoral indices ended in the green except for the industrial sector, which dipped 9.25 points or 0.08% to 10,376.58.

Financials climbed 30.36 points or 1.89% to 1,633.91; services advanced 24.56 points or 1.24% to 2,004.26; holding firms improved 82.06 or 1.17% to 7,055.56; property increased 2.88 points or 0.09% to 3,194.80; and mining and oil inched up 4.11 points or 0.04% to 9,227.53.

Advancers slightly outnumbered decliners, 87 against 83, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling increased to P110.42 million from the P28.68 million in net outflow recorded the previous trading day. — Marielle C. Lucenio