Philippines first country to suspend all financial markets as coronavirus spreads
The Philippine Stock Exchange closed indefinitely on Tuesday while currency and bond trading were suspended, the first market shutdowns worldwide in response to the coronavirus, with authorities citing risks to the safety of traders.
The shutdown comes after some bourses around the world closed trading floors or paused trade after withering falls in market value, but it is the first blanket market halt.
And while it was done for health reasons, amid a broad lockdown in the Philippines, it raises the prospect other exchanges may follow and has drawn analysts’ attention.
Gold continues to fall as investors hoard cash
The rush towards cash, which has hit stocks, and even bonds on certain days, has not spared gold either.
Reuters reports on the unexpected trend: “Gold prices fell nearly 1.5% on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session’s meltdown, as investors continued to sell assets to keep their money in cash because of heightened concerns over the economic toll of the coronavirus outbreak.
Spot gold fell 1.4% to $1,492.81 per ounce by 0311 GMT, having slumped as much as 5.1% on Monday to its lowest since November 2019. U.S. gold futures gained 0.2% to $1,490.00.
“This is just a continuing trend of gold positions being liquidated as equity markets collapse. There is a trend towards holding cash in the market and that’s being reflected in gold,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “With the meltdown in asset markets, it’s clear that longer-term gold, silver and palladium holders are liquidating profitable positions to cover losses elsewhere.””
Stock market update: Stocks clock minor gains
The Nifty and the Sensex have started the day without much action. The bourses opened in the negative before climbing up to clock some minor gains.
The Sensex is now up almost 400 points, trading a little over 31,800, while the Nifty is trading above 9,300.
Overnight, the Dow Jones witnessed its worst day since the 1987 crash, losing almost 13% or close to 3,000 points.
Telcos welcome 20-year window to pay AGR dues
The Department of Telecom’s proposal to give telecom companies 20 years to pay their spectrum dues has been welcomed by the companies.
PTI reports: “The telecom department’s proposal to allow telecom companies pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues in 20 years will improve their cash flow, and the decision to raise tariff by mobile operators will help in resurrecting the financially stressed sector, industry body COAI said on Monday.
“We are very pleased with the Department of Telecom’s submission before the court to give 20 years time to telecom operators for paying adjusted gross revenue dues, which will help in reviving the industry,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI.”