The local stock barometer firmed up for the first time this week on Thursday as global markets welcomed a nascent recovery in global oil prices.

The main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) added 25.8 points or 0.46 percent to close at 5,599.55.

AAA Equities head of research Christopher Mangun said investors found relief in the bounce of crude oil prices and the passing of the fourth COVID-19 stimulus package by the US Congress. Crude oil prices rallied by as much as 20 percent after US President Donald Trump authorized the US Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats that harassed US vessels at sea.

“Political tensions in the Middle East have always caused oil prices to move higher. The move is seen as temporary as the supply glut grows by the day,” Mangun said.

Mangun said the local stock market saw strong buying at the open as investors gained more optimism.

“However, it was short-lived as sellers came in and took profits which dragged the main index lower. It ended the day at its low on strong selling at the close. Nonetheless, it ended with minor gains. Trading volumes were the lowest in several weeks as most investors stayed on the sidelines,” Mangun said.

Despite Thursday’s modest gains, the index was still down by 3.4 percent for the week.

Except for the industrial counter, which slightly declined, all counters gained ground. The mining/oil coun­ter added 1.21 percent, while the financial, holding firm, services and property counters all rose by less than 1 percent.

Value turnover for the day was thin at P4.37 billion. Net foreign outflows for the day amounted to P440.4 million.

There were 114 advancers that edged out 66 decliners, while 49 stocks were unchanged.

The country’s largest conglomerate SM Investments, lifted the PSEi with its 3.3-percent gain.

Metrobank also helped boost the main index with its 2.5-percent gain.

Jollibee, the day’s most actively traded counter, rose by 1.49 percent, while SM Prime, Security Bank, Globe Telecom, ICTSI and AGI all added over 1 percent.

Puregold and Bloomberry rose by less than 1 percent.

Conglomerate Ayala Corp. fell by 5.06 percent, while Meralco declined by 4.3 percent.

BDO also dipped.

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