SHARES continued to slide on Tuesday amid fears of Russia using chemical weapons in its war against Ukraine and aggressive tightening by the US Federal Reserve to fight rising inflation.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sank by 92.93 points or 1.33% to close at 6,895.36 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares dropped 42.37 points or 1.13% to 3,685.84.

“Philippine shares were sold down again with the long weekend nearing. Further escalation in Ukraine as well as tight lockdowns in key areas in China, including Shanghai, have led to a broad sell-off across assets over the past week,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a Viber message.

Mercantile Securities Corp. Analyst Jeff Radley C. See said overall market sentiment continues to be bearish.

“Investors would rather have a cash position than park their funds in the market. Commodity prices continue to move upward. There are still no signs of peace talks in place between Ukraine and Russia,” Mr. See said in a Viber message.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised address late on Monday that Russia could resort to chemical weapons as it amassed troops in the eastern Donbas region for a new assault on the port of Mariupol, where thousands are believed to have died under a near-seven-week siege, Reuters reported.

Regina Capital’s Mr. Limlingan said investors are also reluctant to make big bets on fears of aggressive tightening by the Fed and ahead of the March consumer price index report that was set to be released later on Tuesday.

“The Fed signaling a steep hiking cycle has also spurred recession fears across investors,” he said.

All sectoral indices ended in the red on Tuesday. Industrials fell by 206.95 points or 2.15% to 9,414.80; property declined by 59.35 points or 1.83% to 3,184.49; mining and oil lost 177.43 points or 1.43% to 12,172.43; services gave up 27.41 points or 1.42% to 1,903.45; financials retreated by 21.60 points or 1.29% to 1,646.21; and holding firms went down by 42.01 points or 0.64% to 6,501.21.

The MidCap index dropped by 25.21 points or 2.12% to close at 1,166.01 and the Dividend Yield index went down by 33.62 points or 1.99% to 1,658.99.

Value turnover increased to P5 billion with 1.51 billion shares changing hands from the P3.36 billion with 882.34 million issues seen on Monday.

Decliners overwhelmed advancers, 113 versus 50, while 60 names were unchanged.

Net foreign selling grew to P749.76 million on Tuesday from the P208.85 million seen the previous trading day.

Mercantile Securities’ Mr. See said the PSEi’s next possible support for the last trading day of the week is between 6,761 and 6,546.

Philippine financial markets are closed on April 14-15 in commemoration of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson with Reuters