THE local bourse on Thursday returned to positive territory, following the government's decision to place Metro Manila under Alert 3 for the rest of October.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) improved by 1.62 percent or 114.19 points to 7,183.11, while the wider All Shares climbed 0.92 percent or 40.69 points to close at 4,443.95.

Philstocks Financial Inc. senior research analyst Japhet Tantiangco said investors welcomed the downgrade of the alert level status of the National Capital Region (NCR).

"The easing of restrictions and the allowing of more business capacity in the NCR is expected to give a significant boost to the economy," Tantiangco explained.

The government on Wednesday said the capital region will be under Alert Level 3 from Level 4 beginning October 16 to 31.

Regina Capital Development Corp. managing director Luis Limlingan likewise attributed the market's rebound to the easement of restriction in Metro Manila, which reopens the economy and stimulates more business activity.

Trading continued to exhibit strength as net value turnover stood at P9.84 billion, which is above the year-to-date average of P7.27 billion.

Foreign funds also returned to the local market and aided its climb as it posted net inflow of P191.09 million.

The conglomerates, meanwhile, led the local sectors after gaining 2.28 percent.

Total volume turnover was at 1.01 billion shares valued at P10.28 billion.

Winners outpaced losers at 111 to 86, while 45 securities were unchanged.