STOCKS dropped anew on Wednesday as oil prices climbed due to escalating Russia-Ukraine tensions.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 76.70 points or 1.03% to close at 7,364.21 on Wednesday, while the broader all shares index decreased by 20.65 points or 0.52% to 3,917.86.

“Philippine shares fell upon resumption of trading still due to the intensifying Ukraine-Russia geopolitical tensions,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“We think that for now, local investors are mostly worried over the tensions’ impact on the oil prices,” Philstocks Financial Research Associate Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin ordered more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, according to US estimates, to “keep the peace,” Reuters reported.

Western nations and Japan on Tuesday punished Russia with new sanctions for ordering troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine and threatened to go further if Moscow launched an all-out invasion of its neighbor.

The United States, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan announced plans to target banks and elites while Germany halted a major gas pipeline project from Russia in one of the worst security crises in Europe in decades.

Satellite imagery over the past 24 hours shows several new troop and equipment deployments in western Russia and more than 100 vehicles at a small airfield in southern Belarus, which borders Ukraine, according to US firm Maxar.

The Ukrainian military said early on Wednesday one soldier had been killed and six wounded in 96 incidents of shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the east over the previous 24 hours. It said separatist forces used heavy artillery, mortars and Grad rocket systems.

Crude oil futures on Tuesday reached their highest levels since 2014.

Back home, majority of the sectoral indices ended in the red except for services, which climbed 4.41 points or 0.22% to 1,952.06, and mining and oil, which rose 14.27 points or 0.12% to 11,887.41.

Ms. Alviar said the services sector outperformed the market on expectations of a further reopening of the economy.

Meanwhile, property went down by 77.47 points or 2.17% to 3,493.15; holding firms fell by 54.44 points or 0.77% to 6,959.31; industrials dropped 78.46 points or 0.74% to 10,391.99; and financials declined by 9.11 points or 0.52% to 1,721.34.

Value turnover decreased to P7.78 billion with 1.20 billion shares traded on Wednesday from P12.85 billion or 3.13 billion issues seen on the previous day.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 93 versus 86, while 67 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign buying declined to P47.03 million on Wednesday from P510.33 million on Tuesday.

The PSE will return to its full day, five-hour trading schedule on March 1, with the market to open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. — L.M.J.C. Jocson with Reuters