Philippine stocks could resume their uptrend this week as investors bank on less COVID-19 restrictions despite rising infections.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) last week rose almost 4 percent to end at 6,076.91.

BDO Unibank Inc. chief strategist Jonathan Ravelas said these sentiments could provide support and help the PSEi stay above the key 6,000 level.

“Philippine stocks could resume their uptrend as investors bet on less COVID-19 restrictions next week on top of recent gains on the benchmark index,” Ravelas said over the weekend.“A sustained rise could see a move towards the 6,300 levels in the near-term,” he added.

Analysts highlighted buying opportunities in the Philippines despite continued risks from the pandemic, which has yet to be controlled in the country.Last week, First Metro Investments Corp. indicated a “rare buying opportunity” unseen in a decade.

“The upside is the economic recovery that should enable the PSEi to climb higher to 6,500-7,000 in the second half of this year, supported by expansionary fiscal policy drivers and the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) accommodative monetary policy,” First Metro said.While the economy is expected to contract by 8-9 percent this year, First Metro president Jose Patricio Dumlao said the “country’s macroeconomic fundamentals are on solid ground.”

First Metro expects the economy to bounce back in 2021 following a “slow and difficult” period this year. —Miguel R. Camus

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