PHILIPPINE STOCKS climbed on Monday in thin trade as improved sentiment overseas spilled over to the local market and amid positive manufacturing data.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 30.31 points or 0.46% to close at 6,529.99 on Monday, while the broader all shares index went up by 5.06 points or 0.14% to end at 3,498.43.

“The local market staged a modest rebound for the day as likely buoyed by: (1) positive sentiment spillover from offshore markets, and (2) continued manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) growth in March,” China Bank Securities Corp. Research Associate Lance U. Soledad said in a Viber message.

“However, volumes were lackluster as investors may have stayed on the sidelines ahead of the March inflation report and the upcoming long weekend,” Mr. Soledad added.

Philippine financial markets will be closed on April 6-11 due to nonworking days in commemoration of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Day of Valor.

Manufacturing activity continued to grow in March on strong demand for goods and as production and new orders rose.

The S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing PMI stood at 52.5 in March, down from 52.7 in February. This was the softest rate of expansion in seven months.

Still, March marked the 14th straight month that the PMI reading was above the 50 mark, which indicates an improvement in conditions for the manufacturing sector. A reading below the threshold means the opposite.

“Philippine shares traded upward on thin volume as the Holy Season kicked off for the shortened season. Sentiment got a boost from the US as stocks rose overall for the quarter even with more US Federal Reserve rate tightening and a mini-financial panic spurred on by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Mr. Limlingan said investors are awaiting the release of March inflation data on April 5, Wednesday.

A BusinessWorld poll of 16 analysts yielded a median estimate of 8.1% for March headline inflation, closer to the upper end of the 7.4% to 8.2% forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The majority of sectoral indices declined. Services fell by 26.85 points or 1.61% to 1,636.70; mining and oil decreased by 94.38 points or 0.85% to 10,928.65; industrials went down by 73.69 points or 0.78% to 9,327.54; and financials lost 3.83 points or 0.21% to end at 1,806.76.

Meanwhile, holding firms rose by 112.16 points or 1.79% to 6,369.93; and property climbed by 33.71 points or 1.25% to 2,712.07.

Value turnover decreased to P4.08 billion on Monday with 1.77 billion shares changing hands, from the P6.18 billion with 627.11 million issues on Friday

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 94 to 88, while 56 names were unchanged.

Net foreign selling went down to P68.26 million on Monday from P688.42 million on Friday.

Mr. Soledad placed the PSEi’s support at 6,400-6,420 and resistance at 6,650. — AHH