STOCKS sank on Tuesday as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued, causing oil prices to surge to record highs.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) fell by 310.34 points or 4.25% to close at 6,977.73 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares dropped by 127.46 points or 3.29% to close at 3,739.52.

“The PSEi was smashed down today after ongoing worries over the conflict in Ukraine and higher commodity prices took center stage… This put investors into a very defensive mood given the uncertainties of the war in Ukraine, which could yet bring about further turmoil,” COL Financial Group, Inc. Chief Technical Analyst Juanis G. Barredo said in a Viber message on Tuesday.

“Philippine stocks plunged yet again on worries that the rising energy prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war would slow the economy and drive inflation hotter,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

“The local market fell further this Tuesday as investors continued to worry over the possible imposition of sanctions on Russia’s oil exports. The said move is expected to lead to a surge in oil prices which would cause inflationary pressures,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said in a Viber message.

Russia’s offensive in Ukraine continued but at a significantly slower pace on Tuesday and a second senior Russian commander had been killed, Ukrainian military and intelligence said, as frightened residents fled bombed-out cities, Reuters reported.

Fears of an energy war between Russia and the West grew on Tuesday after the United States pushed its allies to ban Russian oil imports as punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Oil prices seesawed near 14-year high on Tuesday with Brent crude futures up $1.06 or 0.9% at $124.27 a barrel at 0223 GMT, after trading as high as $125.19.

“Apart from monitoring the potential economic ramifications of disruptions in the global energy supply, investors also await the release of the February consumer price index report on Thursday,” Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan added.

Majority of sectoral indices ended in the red on Monday except for mining and oil, which climbed 514.39 points or 3.62% to 14,713.61.

Meanwhile, financials went down by 86.23 points or 5.16% to 1,584.22; holding firms declined by 296.35 points or 4.22% to 6,712.86; property lost 142.67 points or 4.08% to 3,350.94; industrials fell by 368.13 points or 3.74% to 9,462.71; and services decreased by 64.75 points or 3.31% to 1,890.37.

Value turnover increased to P12.16 billion with 2.35 billion shares changing hands from P8.73 billion or 2.35 billion issues on Monday.

Decliners outnumbered advancers, 178 versus 57, while 21 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling climbed to P850.32 million on Tuesday from P259.27 million seen the previous trading day. — L.M.J.C. Jocson with Reuters