PHILIPPINE shares continued their rally on Wednesday driven by investors’ hopes of a strong economic recovery in 2022, shrugging off pandemic concerns.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 48.06 points or 0.66% to close at 7,334.56 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index rose 25.47 points or 0.66% to finish at 3,883.38.

“Philippine shares once again made steady gains as part of the year-end window dressing amid a quiet week and ahead of the holidays,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Financial markets will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 30, in commemoration of Rizal Day.

“The local bourse finished higher on hopes of the local economy further reopening after the holidays, as COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases in the country remain low,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said in a separate Viber message.

The Health department logged 421 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total cases to 9,750. The Philippines’ positivity rate stood at 2.6%.

“Market rose as investors bet on sustained favorable Philippine macrodata reflected in home price recovery [as] per [the] Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, lower December 2021 inflation expectations, and resilient OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances seen to grow in 2022,” First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in another Viber message.

“Foreign transactions for the day ended in a net inflow of P568.40 million, adding boost to the market’s rally. Trading was still lethargic, however… below the year-to-date average of P7.39 billion,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research and Engagement Supervisor Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a separate Viber message.

Net foreign buying decreased to P568.3 million on Wednesday, inching down from the P659.90 million logged in net purchases the previous trading day.

Value turnover rose to P5.23 billion on Wednesday with 1.75 billion shares switching hands, higher than the P5.09 billion with 3.31 billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Majority of sectoral indices posted gains on Wednesday except for holding firms, which gave up 37.04 points or 0.52% to close at 7,057.35.

Meanwhile, mining and oil climbed 264.06 points or 2.81% on Wednesday to finish at 9,633.31; property increased by 68.84 points or 2.15% to 3,259.51; industrials rose by 60.42 points or 0.57% to 10,562.91; financials improved by 22.89 points or 1.39% to 1,660.91; and services went up by 12.40 points or 0.61% to 2,033.51.

Advancers beat decliners, 114 against 79, while 62 names were unchanged.

“7,450 seems to be the closest resistance area, while 6,940 may be considered the nearest support level,” Mr. Pangan said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte