THE MAIN INDEX climbed to the 6,900 level anew on Wednesday as the market tracked the strong performance of US shares.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose by 1.24% or 85.92 points to close at 6,965.51, while the broader all shares index climbed by 0.94% or 33.89 points to 3,614.20.

“The local bourse jumped…, mirroring the performance of the US markets overnight. Investor sentiment was boosted by the latest US inflation print which came in within expectation, raising hopes that the Federal Reserve would soon decide to ease monetary policy,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

US stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 registering a record-high close as Oracle shares surged and consumer price data failed to dampen investors’ hopes of interest rate cuts in the coming months, Reuters reported.

The Labor department reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% last month after climbing 0.3% in January.

In the 12 months through February, the CPI increased by 3.2%, just above the 3.1% estimate, after advancing 3.1% through January.

Traders now see a 70% chance of the first rate cut coming in June, the CME FedWatch Tool showed, versus 71% ahead of the inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235.83 points or 0.61% to 39,005.49. The S&P 500 gained 57.33 points or 1.12% at 5,175.27, and the Nasdaq Composite added 246.36 points or 1.54% at 16,265.64.

“At home, the anticipation of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve this year added to optimism, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may likely follow suit. But of course, the inflation rate in the country would have a more significant influence on the BSP’s decision,” Ms. Alviar added.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message that the local bourse improved on bargain hunting ahead of the upcoming FTSE rebalancing on Friday.

All market’s sectoral indices ended higher on Wednesday. Property climbed by 2.02% or 56.22 points to 2,826,77; financials gained 1.74% or 34.82 points to end at 2,030.87; services increased by 0.9% or 16.50 points to 1,847.52; holding firms went up by 0.81% or 53.46 points to 6,652.41; industrials rose by 0.51% or 46.80 points to 9,070.93; and mining and oil added 0.29% or 24.52 points to close at 8,348.59.

“Among the index members, Ayala Land, Inc. was at the top, climbing by 4.33% while Wilcon Depot, Inc. lost the most by 4.76%,” Ms. Alviar said.

Value turnover rose to P6.51 billion on Wednesday with 702.86 million issues changing hands from the P5.53 billion with 945.76 million shares traded on Tuesday.

Advancers beat decliners, 119 versus 71, while 52 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying rose to P506.95 million on Wednesday from P348.86 million the previous day. — RMDO with Reuters