Philippine stocks plunge nearly 25% after coronavirus trading halt

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered more than half of its population to stay home for the next month to contain the spread of coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 19 March 2020

Philippine stocks plunge nearly 25% after coronavirus trading halt

  • The Southeast Asian nation was the first in the world to indefinitely suspend stock trading
  • The Philippines has recorded 202 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 17 deaths

MANILA: Philippine shares plunged by nearly 25 percent on Thursday only moments after the Manila stock exchange resumed trade following a two-day trading suspension prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Southeast Asian nation was the first in the world to indefinitely suspend trading after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered more than half of its population to stay home for the next month.
Manila’s bourse had suspended operations “until further notice” in response but quickly recalled its order and reopened the market on Thursday after the government exempted it from the lockdown.
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index dropped 24 percent from Monday’s close just seconds after the opening bell, triggering a 15-minute trading halt.
It was the largest fall on record for the benchmark, Bloomberg reported.
“We were kind of expecting that the market would open quite low, especially after a two-day halt in trading,” exchange president Ramon Monzon said.
Monzon said he was in talks with Philippine regulators to implement new measures to stem market volatility, which could include additional intraday trading suspensions.
The index pared back losses in later morning trade and was down 11.9 percent shortly before the lunch break.
The Philippines has recorded 202 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 17 deaths.


Saudi Arabia increases oil exports to 10.6 million bpd

Updated 30 March 2020

Saudi Arabia increases oil exports to 10.6 million bpd

  • The Kingdom intends to increase its crude oil exports starting in May, by about 600,000 barrels per day

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said the Kingdom intends to increase its crude oil exports starting in May, by about 600,000 barrels per day.
This will bring the Kingdom’s total petroleum exports to 10.6 million barrels per day, a ministry spokesman said. 
This increase came as a result of displacing crude with natural gas from the Al-Fadhili gas plant, as a fuel for generating electricity and also the decrease in local demand for petroleum products as a result a reduction in transportation due to precautionary measures taken to limit the coronavirus outbreak.