The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) reclaimed the 7,300 level on optimism over declining COVID-19 cases and increased foreign buying.
By the closing bell on Thursday, the PSEi gained 0.2 percent, or 14.64 points, to 7,311.72 while the broader all-shares index went up 0.19 percent, or 8.68 points, to 4,474.92.
Trading volume was robust, with 1.06 billion shares valued at P10.15 billion changing hands. Overseas investors propped up the market further with net foreign buying hitting P304.53 million.
Investor sentiments improved after the independent pandemic monitor OCTA Research Group projected a downturn in COVID-19 infections in the National Capital Region, Cebu, Davao, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal.
This was derived from the decrease in the virus' reproduction figures and positivity rates for people screened for COVID-19.
BDO Unibank Inc. chief strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market could rally further if it held above 7,200.
"Should this condition persist, it might try the 7,400 levels in the near-term. Failure to test the said levels could prompt some profit-taking," he said in a note to investors on Thursday.
Subsectors showed mixed results during the session. Gainers were led by mining and oil, up 2.18 percent; holding firms, up 1.42 percent; and industrial, up 0.23 percent. Financials sank 1.86 percent while property and services each dropped 0.05 percent and 0.14 percent, respectively.
There were 105 gainers versus 85 losers, while 55 companies closed unchanged.
Converge ICT Solutions Inc. was the most actively traded as it fell 5.63 percent to P31 per share.
It was followed by SM Prime Holdings Inc., unchanged at P36.20; DMCI Holdings Inc., up 2.28 percent to P8.57; Monde Nissin Corp., up 6.83 percent to P16.58; and PLDT Inc., down 0.98 percent to P1,619 per share.
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