PHILIPPINE STOCKS climbed further on Wednesday on positive investor sentiment amid strong corporate results and foreign buying.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 0.62% or 42.70 points to finish at 6,897.36 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index rose by 0.51% or 18.4 points to close at 3,600.10.

“The market moved sideways for most of the trading session before having a notable run at the close of trading. The positive bias was due to positive sentiments buoyed by some 2023 earnings results,” AB Capital Securities, Inc. Vice-President Jovis L. Vistan said in a Viber message.

“Companies that unveiled their financial reports generally performed in line with or exceeded market expectations, contributing to the overall optimism,” he added.

First Metro Investment Corp. Head of Research Cristina S. Ulang said in a Viber message that the market improved on Wednesday amid strong foreign buying.

Net foreign buying went down to P506.85 million on Wednesday from P666.48 million on Tuesday.

“Foreign investors have been consistently participating in the market … This positive trend has persisted since the beginning of February, establishing foreigners as net buyers,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

“The local bourse extended its gains, up by 42.70 points (0.62%) to 6,897.36, lifted by property stocks, notably with SM Prime Holdings, Inc. … which experienced the most significant gain of 2.74% among the index members. The possible interest rate cut by the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), coupled with their strong 2023 earnings result so far, are boosting investors’ sentiment in property stocks,” she added.

SM Prime logged a 33% increase in its net income to P40 billion in 2023, led by higher revenues across its business units, it reported earlier this week.

The company’s net income for 2023 marks an improvement from the P30.1 billion recorded the year prior, it said in a stock exchange disclosure on Monday.

SM Prime said its consolidated revenue increased by 21% to P128.1 billion from P105.8 billion in 2022, while operating income rose by 24% to P61.3 billion.

Majority of sectoral indices closed higher on Wednesday. Property climbed by 1.89% or 54.82 points to 2,952.32; financials went up by 1.12% or 22.57 points to 2,021.96; industrials increased by 0.6% or 54.86 points to 9,176.45; and holding firms rose by 0.53% or 34.12 points to 6,425.45.

Meanwhile, services dropped by 1.69% or 29.89 points to 1,736.96, and mining and oil went down by 0.77% or 68.46 points to 8,735.12.

Value turnover inched down to P4.88 billion on Wednesday with 1.63 billion issues switching hands from the P4.94 billion with 520.65 million shares traded the previous day.

Decliners edged out advancers, 93 against 91, while 50 names ended unchanged. — R.M.D. Ochave