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Asia-Pacific Markets: Australia Posts Biggest One-Day Percentage Gain While Philippines Suspend Trading

James Hyerczyk

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes settled mixed on Tuesday in another volatile performance as investors tried to get an edge ahead of new coronavirus updates. Shares in the region whipsawed throughout the session following one of Wall Street’s biggest one-day routs in history as headlines about the coronavirus outbreak and its global economic impact weighted heavily on investor sentiment.

On Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 17011.53, up 9.49 or +0.06%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 23336.65, up 273.08 or +1.18% and South Korea finished at 1672.44, down 42.42 or -2.47%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 2779.64, down 9.61 or -0.34% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at 5293.40, up 291.40 or +5.83%.

Philippines First Country to Suspend All Markets as Coronavirus Spreads

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 Philippine Stock Exchange said trade was suspended until further notice “to ensure the safety of employees and traders,” amid a broader national lockdown.

The Philippines benchmark index fell 8% on Monday and is down 20% for March so far, already its worst month since October 2008, while bond prices have also collapsed.

And while the Philippine shutdown was prompted by health reasons, amid a broad nationwide lockdown, it raises the prospect other exchanges may follow and has drawn analysts’ attention.

Aussie Shares Rebound after Worst Plunge Since 1987

The Australian stock market unexpectedly surged on Monday, attempting to rebound from Monday’s panic sell-off, which was its worst day since the 1987 Black Monday crash.

The ASX 200 recouped some of its recent losses, ending the session 5.8 percent higher at 5293 points – its biggest one-day percentage gain since 1997. The All Ordinaries Index rose 5.4 percent to 5332.

The major miners and bank stocks helped lift the market, with BHP shares rising nearly 12 percent and Commonwealth Bank shares gaining 13.3 percent.

The travel industry has been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with shares in Qantas down another 5.3 percent, bringing its total losses to 60 percent since the year began.

This was after the airline said it would cut international capacity by 90 percent, and domestic capacity by 60 percent, until at least the end of May.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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