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In A First, Philippines Shuts Down All Financial Markets To Stop Coronavirus Spread

The Philippines on Tuesday halted all stock, currency, and bond trading in the country for an indefinite period as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Reuters reported.

Benzinga · 03/17/2020 11:16

The Philippines on Tuesday halted all stock, currency, and bond trading in the country for an indefinite period as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Reuters reported.

What Happened

The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended all trade until further notice "to ensure the safety of employees and traders," according to Reuters.

The index closed nearly 8% lower at 5,335.37 on Monday ahead of the closure. iShares MSCI Philippines exchange-traded-fund closed 19.45% lower at $19.76 on Monday in the U.S.

The move comes as President Rodrigo Duterte announced widespread lockdowns in the country to curb the spread of the virus.

Duterte on Monday put Luzon, an island of 57 million people, under "enhanced community quarantine" until April 12, as reported by Al Jazeera. The country's capital Manila is also under lockdown.

Why It Matters

This is the first time that the country has shut down all its financial markets as a response to the coronavirus that has infected 182,406 people worldwide.

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) earlier this month shut down its Chicago trading floor, but its electronic trading platform Globex continues to function as normal.

Other exchange desks, including the New York Stock Exchange, have said they plan to continue their operations and are taking increased precautions against the coronavirus.