SHARES rallied on Thursday following the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision and the release of Philippine April inflation data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained by 66.19 points or 0.97% to close at 6,868.92 on Thursday, while the broader all shares index improved by 48.17 points or 1.33% to 3,663.16.

“Local and regional equities went on a relief rally as the Fed announced a widely anticipated 50-basis-point (bp) rate hike during its policy setting meeting yesterday. The Wednesday moves also came on the back of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s statement ruling out a 75-bp rate hike in future meetings, arguing for the possibility of a soft or ‘soft-ish’ landing,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“The market finished higher as investors digested the recently released US Federal Reserve interest rate decision. Locally, market participants may be assessing the inflation report for the month of April,” Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan added in a Viber message.

The Fed on Wednesday raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by half a percentage point, the biggest jump in 22 years, Reuters reported. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said policy makers were ready to approve half-percentage-point rate hikes at upcoming policy meetings in June and July.

In a news conference after the release of the Fed’s policy statement, Mr. Powell explicitly ruled out raising rates by three-quarters of a percentage point in a coming meeting, a comment that triggered a stock market rally.

The Fed also said it would start next month to reduce the roughly $9-trillion stash of assets accumulated during its efforts to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic as another lever to bring inflation under control.

Back home, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday that April inflation was at 4.9%, higher than the 4.1% in the same month in 2021 and faster than the 4% print in March.

All sectoral indices ended in the green on Thursday. Mining and oil surged by 508.99 points or 4.52% to 11,769.57; services went up by 31.72 points or 1.69% to 1,907.91; property added 36.90 points or 1.18% to 3,161.91; holding firms rose by 60.44 points or 0.95% to 6,395.99; industrials increased by 80.71 points or 0.85% to 9,484.16; and financials gained 12.52 points or 0.77% to 1,629.43.

The MidCap index went up by 28.72 points or 2.61% to 1,129.39 and the Dividend Yield index advanced by 24.46 points or 1.53% to 1,619.64.

Advancers overwhelmed decliners, 140 versus 59, while 37 names ended unchanged.

Value turnover decreased to P5.68 billion with 1.06 billion shares changing hands on Thursday from the P6.92 billion with 631.99 million issues seen the previous day.

Foreigners turned buyers with P135.15 million in net purchases from the P2.43 billion in net outflows seen on Wednesday. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson with Reuters