By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter

PHILIPPINE SHARES failed to sustain its recovery on Thursday, reflecting the downward performance of Asian markets after the US decided to sign a bill supporting protesters in Hong Kong, which could negatively impact developments in the US-China trade war.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell 68.23 points or 0.87% to close at 7,768.66, while the broader all shares index was down 34.05 points or 0.72% to reach 4,650.95.

“With regional markets downed, local market corrected today as China replied that they will retaliate on US passage of the Hong Kong Bill that tend to side on the protesters. This may negatively affect the on-going passage of the phase 1 agreement in the US-China trade negotiations,” Diversified Securities, Inc. Equity Trader Aniceto K. Pangan said in a text message on Thursday.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump signed two bills, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which reaffirms and amends the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. These show support to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. This is seen to complicate the US-China negotiations.

Asian markets were sluggish following the recent action of the US government.

AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun noted the same sentiment and said, “China’s foreign Ministry promptly warned of unspecified “firm counter measures” in response and summoned the US ambassador in Beijing. On the other hand, Western equities markets hit fresh highs ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Mr. Mangun also noted that “things are back to normal after two days of excitement” as foreign investors continue to leave the market.

“Most investors are still on the sidelines as the general sentiment remains dull. Investors may gain confidence if the main index can end the week above the 7,750-support level,” he said in an e-mail.

Back home, most sectoral counters ended in the red, except from the services sub-sector, which gained 4.31 points or 0.28% to end at 1,545.24.

Losers were led by mining and oil, which fell 242.73 points or 2.87% to end at 8,209.38. Holding firms fell 88.91 points or 1.14% to 7,662.06; financials fell 19.63 points or 1.03% to 1,871.54; industrials went down 98.60 points or 0.99% to 9,785.40; and property fell 22.95 points or 0.56% to 4,026.21.

Some 668.52 million issues valued at P5.44 billion switched hands on Thursday, lower than previous session’s 1.82 billion shares worth P7.68 billion.

Foreigners were sellers for the eighth straight session, with net outflows at P744.16 million, down from previous session’s P1.05 billion.

Losers edged out advancers, 116 to 64, while 52 issues were unchanged.