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Philippines stock market tanks 24% after 2-day closure over coronavirus panic

Philippines stock market tanks 24% after 2-day closure over coronavirus panic
The Philippines’ major stock index, the PSE Composite, plunged by 24 percent soon after trading opened. The slide comes after markets were shuttered for two days as Covid-19 pummels the world economy.

The PSE Composite took a beating almost immediately after trading began on Thursday morning, dropping by 12 percent and triggering a circuit breaker, in which all exchanges are halted for 15 minutes in hopes of preventing a wave of panic selling. 

But the decline continued apace when trading resumed, falling another 12 percent before 10am local time – before bouncing back slightly.

The island nation became the first country to shut down its financial markets over the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this week, halting all stock, bond and currency trading after the PSE Composite saw rapid declines amid the virus-induced panic. The two-day pause appears to have done little to stem the plummeting stock values, however.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index also took a hit, albeit a smaller one, falling by half a point and shedding close to 90 points in the early hours of trading, while the Hong Kong-based Hang Seng Index lost over 3.8 percent, hitting its lowest point since the summer of 2016. US stock futures, down by two percent, also continue to slide.

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