THE Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 28.74 points, or 0.45 percent, to settle at 6,434.24 on Monday.

Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Claire Alviar and Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis Limlingan said the PSEi's gain was on the back of the Philippines' latest unemployment rate, which remained unchanged at 6 percent.

"Unemployment rate as of June 2022 was the same as in the previous months (May 2022) but still the highest since February 2022," Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said.

"This was partly due to higher inflation and interest borrowing costs that served to drag down growth and employment in some industries as a result of higher prices of fuel, transportation, fertilizer, feeds and other inputs largely brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022, and the increased sanctions on Russia, which reduced profit margins while weighing on consumption, investments and other economic activities that could have created more jobs," he added.

The other positive influence on the market at today's open was the continuing good earnings results of PSE-listed companies, which is indicative of what is generally expected to be good gross domestic product well within the target forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the second quarter.

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In the United States, Limlingan noted that last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hiring in July was far better than expected, defying multiple other signs that the economic recovery is losing steam. In fact, the US unemployment rate has actually come down despite fears of a looming recession.

"Non-farm payrolls rose to 528,000 for the month and the unemployment rate was at 3.5 percent, easily topping the Dow Jones estimates of 258,000 and 3.6 percent, respectively. With this, the US unemployment rate is now back to its pre-pandemic level and tied for the lowest since 1969," Limlingan said.

Today's total value was around P7.91 billion, with a total volume of 591,402,246 shares.

Indexes were mixed as financials led the gainers, up 1.11 percent. Mining and oil lost the most, down 1.76 percent.

Advancers outpaced the decliners, 113 to 55, while 55 securities remained unchanged.