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Philippines closes markets in wake of coronavirus

Global markets are in meltdown as the pandemic continues to spread
Residents outside a supermarket practice social distancing in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday.
Residents outside a supermarket practice social distancing in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday.
AP

Reuters   |   Singapore   |   Published 17.03.20, 07:43 PM

The Philippine Stock Exchange closed indefinitely on Tuesday while currency and bond trading were suspended, the first shutdown of markets worldwide in response to the coronavirus, with authorities citing risks to the safety of traders.

The move comes after some bourses around the world closed trading floors or paused trade after withering falls in market value. It is the first blanket market halt.

And while the Philippine shutdown was prompted by health reasons, amid a broad nationwide lockdown, it raises the prospect other bourses may follow.

“Given the unprecedented speed of the slump in equity prices, it has been suggested that bourses might be closed soon if things don’t turn around,” research house Capital Economics said on Tuesday.

Global markets are in meltdown as the pandemic spreads, with $14 trillion in shareholder value erased and even safe assets such as gold have been sold to cover losses. 



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