The stock barometer advanced for the second straight session on Wednesday as investors gained confidence from the recent stream of local corporate earnings, upbeat US stock market and the strong trading debut of grocery chain operator AllDay.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 78.71 points, or 1.11 percent, to close at 7,184.72.

“Philippine shares continued their run with support from the newest addition, AllDay, which made its debut closing at the ceiling of 90 centavos for a 50-percent gain. Meanwhile, sentiment continued to get a lift [from] more earnings releases, while the market looks ahead to the outcome of a critical Federal Reserve meeting,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development.

He also noted the Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended above 36,000 for the first time in history.

“Investors will also be focused on commentary about interest rates and how sustained the recent surge in inflation is,” Limlingan said.

In a research note issued on Wednesday, investment house First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) said that with the PSEi crossing the major resistance of 7,000 in October, market appeared to have entered a “new bull market.” “However, a more robust economic recovery starting fourth quarter should support the uptrend. Thus, we think the year’s high will come sooner, exceeding last year’s 7,139.71,” FMIC said.

FMIC said the positive factors included the following: expectation that headline inflation would fall below 4 percent by December; Bangko Sentral would not raise policy rates; earnings growth, which have exceeded expectations, should continue for the full year; and, the slow uptick in foreign interest rates won’t disrupt markets.

On Wednesday, the market was lifted by the property counter, which climbed by 3.26 percent, while the financial counter added 1.77 percent.

The industrial, holding firm and services counters all rose by less than 1 percent.

Value turnover amounted to P7.52 billion. There was marginal net foreign selling of P23.75 million.

There were 104 advancers that outnumbered 99 decliners, while 46 companies were unchanged.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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