SHARES continued to drop on Monday as investors stayed on the sidelines until further developments in the US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 52.02 points or 0.65% to close at 7,880.94 on Monday. This is its fourth straight day of decline and lowest finish since Oct. 15 when it ended at 7,840.31.

The broader all-shares index also fell 31.55 points or 0.66% to close at 4,720.26.

“The local market extended its losses today as investors continue to watch out for developments with the US-China negotiations,” Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco of Philstocks Financial, Inc. said in a text message on Monday.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan pointed to the same reason, saying in a mobile message: “Investors continued selling in the Philippines market as sentiment in the US became more positive….”

Mr. Tantiangco noted the market was affected by the “skepticism with respect to the talks particularly the positive remarks given by both parties over the weekend.” He was referring to comments of White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow late last week, saying the two countries are inching closer to an agreement. China state-run press Xinhua News Agency also reported over the weekend that US and China were maintaining communication over phone to discuss items of the trade deal.

“At the same time, sentiments are also dented by the political unrest in Hong Kong,” Mr. Tantiangco added. Reuters reported tensions continue to rise in Hong Kong as protesters and the police stand off at a university, where rubber bullets and tear gas were used by the authorities to attack protesters aided with petrol bombs and homemade weapons.

But Mr. Tantiangco noted these overseas events are “overshadowing” local fundamentals that should be driving the market up.

“Third quarter corporate earnings season has just ended with index members’ combined first nine months net income up by about 15% year-on-year. Despite this, investors remain cautious as they seek for more clarity regarding the ongoing global narratives,” he said.

All sectoral indices closed in the red on Monday.

Mining and oil descended 192.05 points or 2.19% to 8,550.09; property dropped 46.30 points or 1.12% to 4,073.54; industrials lost 66.19 points or 0.65% to 10,016.15; financials decreased 10.91 points or 0.56% to 1,909.94; holding firms fell 38.14 points or 0.48% to 7,772.28; and services slipped 3.62 points or 0.23% to close at 1,543.85.

Value turnover on Monday stood at P4.32 billion, down from Friday’s P6.85 billion, with 430.55 million issues changing hands.

More stocks declined compared to those that advanced, 128 against 52, while 51 ended unchanged.

Net foreign buying totaled P100.23 million on Monday, a reversal of Friday’s net selling worth P404.88 million. — Denise A. Valdez