PHILIPPINE SHARES continued to rise on Wednesday as local manufacturing activity improved in December, indicating a robust economy.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) surged by 132.49 points or 2.01% to close at 6,718.50 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index rose by 60.37 points or 1.73% to 3,537.07.

“Stocks moved higher as latest economic numbers showed that the Philippines was an outlier in terms of manufacturing output… In the midst of contracting global output, the figures put the country among the best prospects in terms economic growth this year,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message.

The S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to a six-month high of 53.1 in December, from 52.7 in November.

December also marked the 11th straight month of expansion for manufacturing activity.

The Philippines had the highest reading among some of its Association of Southeast Asian Nations neighbors for the month.

“Attention now shifts to the December inflation number, which will be released [on Thursday],” Mr. Vistan said.

A BusinessWorld poll of 11 analysts yielded a median estimate of 8.3% for December inflation. This is within the 7.8% to 8.6% forecast given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last week.

If realized, December would be the ninth straight month that inflation surpassed the BSP’s 2-4% target range for 2022.

“The local market trudged higher on upbeat buying appetite following the strong index open atop the 6,600 resistance level. Moreover, the improvement in trading activity and the prevalence of net foreign buying further supported the market’s ascent,” China Bank Securities, Inc. Research Associate Lance Gabriel U. Soledad said.

“We note that the index looks like it’s breaking out of its consolidation phase, which could be confirmed if the index surges above the 6,800 level,” he added.

All sectoral indices closed higher on Wednesday. Property surged by 102.34 points or 3.53% to 2,999.56; mining and oil went up by 294.70 points or 2.62% to 11,522.15; services added 42.49 points or 2.58% to end at 1,684.60; holding firms increased by 92.46 points or 1.43% to 6,540.9; industrials rose by 129.20 points or 1.35% to 9,675.41; and financials climbed by 19.16 points or 1.16% to 1,662.56.

Value turnover climbed to P6.7 billion on Wednesday with 1.38 billion shares changing hands from the P3.43 billion with 2.06 billion issues traded on Tuesday.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 122 versus 72, while 47 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying stood at P333.74 million on Wednesday, a reversal of the P326.42 million in net selling seen the previous day.

Mr. Vistan placed the PSEi’s support at 6,500 and resistance at 6,850, while Mr. Soledad put the main index’s support at 6,380-6,420 and immediate resistance at 6,800. — Justine Irish D. Tabile