PHILIPPINE STOCKS closed higher on Monday following stronger-than-expected US jobs data and last-minute bargain hunting.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 26.82 points or 0.42% to close at 6,388.64 on Monday, while the broader all shares index climbed by 11.02 points or 0.32% to 3,421.78.

“Philippine share started off in the green, tracking the positive start of Asia and the futures market, following the release of a stronger-than-expected jobs report,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“The local bourse gained by 26.82 points (0.42%) to 6,388.64 due to last-minute bargain hunting. Also, the big-time oil price rollback tomorrow helped the bourse to end in the green,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The market traded mostly in the red territory amid a lack of positive catalysts while waiting for the inflation rate in the US. It has been monitored by the investors as it determines whether the Federal Reserve will be more aggressive to tame inflation or will continue the current stance,” Ms. Alviar added.

The US Labor Department’s survey of establishments showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 372,000 jobs last month, Reuters reported. It was the fourth straight month of job gains in excess of 350,000 and left employment 524,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic level.

The Fed wants to cool demand for labor to help bring inflation down to its 2% target. Markets expect the Fed, which has increased its policy rate by 150 basis points since March, to unveil another 75-basis-point hike at its meeting later this month.

Inflation data for June due July 13, which is expected to show consumer prices accelerating, is also seen giving policy makers more cover to raise borrowing costs further.

Back home, majority of sectoral indices posted gains except for mining and oil, which dropped by 59.38 points or 0.53% to close at 10,990.97 and holding firms, which went down by 4.20 points or 0.07% to 6,032.61.

Meanwhile, financials went up by 13.12 points or 0.87% to 1,514.71; services climbed 13.89 points or 0.83% to 1,685.72; industrials increased by 27.80 points or 0.29% to 9,342.61; and property inched up by 5.53 points or 0.19% to end at 2,883.46.

Value turnover went down to P3.75 billion on Monday with 775.46 million shares changing hands from the P6.60 billion with 538.26 million issues seen the previous trading day.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 101 versus 82, while 45 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P98.20 million on Monday from the P123.42 million seen the previous trading day.

Mercantile Securities Corp. Head Trader Jeff Radley C. See said net foreign selling may continue on Tuesday amid fears of a global slowdown. He said the PSEi may rise to 6,500 anew on Tuesday. — J.I.DP. Tabile with Reuters