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Philippine Trading Shut Down by Volcano, Rest of Asia Push Forward

Philippine Trading Shut Down by Volcano, Rest of Asia Push Forward
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MANILA, Philippines – Most Asian stock markets were mostly up on Monday as the region anticipate the signing of an initial trade deal between China and the US. But while most Asian benchmarks were rallying, the eruption of the Taal Volcano forced the Philippine Stock Exchange to stop trading for the day.

It was a mostly good day for Asia. Markets in mainland China were up at the close of the trading day. Both the Shenzhen Composite and the Shenzhen Component advanced. The former went up 1.36% to 1,822.35 while the latter rose 1.47% to 11,040.20. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.75% to end the day at 3,115.57.

The Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong also rallied and rose by 1.11% while South Korea’s KOSPI increased 1.04% to reach 2,229.26. Taiwan’s Taiex Index also advanced today. It was up by 0.74% and closed at 12,113.42.

Taiwan started the week in high spirits, as the weekend saw President Tsai Ing-wen reelected and winning over Han Kuo-yu by a landslide. Analysts claim President Tsai’s victory will help bolster the positive investor sentiment currently enjoyed by the country. Expert are also saying that Taiwan’s stocks could continue to enjoy gains throughout the month.

While most markets in the region had a positive turn on Monday, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 went the opposite direction. The index went down 0.37% to end at 6,903.70. Shares in oil mostly declined.

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Two Asian markets were close on Monday though. Japan traders were enjoying a short holiday break while the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was shut down due to the eruption of Taal Volcano. The Bankers Association of the Philippines also stopped trading for the day.

Taal, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, released copious amounts of ash on Sunday and released lava in the early morning of Monday. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has also raised the volcano’s alert level to four and warned that a “hazardous explosive eruption” could happen in a matter of hours or days.

Ash fall from the volcano has already affected Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, and other areas. Major manufacturing hub Laguna Technopark has already suspended operations. Banks, offices, factories, and schools have also closed for the day.

The imminent end of the trade dispute between China and the US have encouraged not only investors in Asia, but also in Europe. Markets in the region opened higher, but the gains were not as noticeable as their Asian counterparts.

Market analysts say the deal signing is what traders and investors are focusing on now. However, some strategists admit there are lingering concerns regarding the terms of the trade agreement.

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