Last-minute buying pushed the stock market closer to breaching the 9,000 level on Thursday, with investors said to have been heartened by revisions to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) global growth forecasts.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) notched its sixth record high for the year, adding 78.94 points or 0.89 percent to close at 8,999.17 — marginally higher than the previous peak of 8,999.02 hit on Tuesday.

The broader All Shares, meanwhile, advanced 0.76 percent or 39.56 points to finish at 5,245.25.

“[T]he WEF increased global growth,” IB Gimenez Securities, Inc. research head Joylin Telagen noted, referring to the IMF’s announcement of updates to its World Economic Outlook at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Higher global growth will also turn to strong positive corporate earnings, which will stabilize market valuation to an acceptable level,” she added.

The IMF revised its 2018 and 2019 global growth forecasts to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent, noting favorable financial conditions and a temporary boost from sweeping tax cuts in the United States.

The 2018 outlook for the Asean-5 grouping that includes the Philippines was also raised to 5.3 percent from 5.2 percent previously.

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry Liu said the market was still consolidating with no significant issues weighing it down.

“Right now there is no fundamental crisis … to turn the market to a bear market. It has been very positive since the year-end and the start of the year,” he said.

“Now, we’re trying to break the 9,000 psychological level,” Liu added.

“For now it is just a technical sideways for foreign participation … I feel that technically it should be able to break the 9,000 tomorrow (Friday).”

Net foreign buying reached P119 million on Thursday.

All counters settled in the green, led by the mining and oil sector that gained 4 percent.
Over 1.3 million issues valued at P8.88 billion changed hands.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 116 to 105, while 41 issues were unchanged.