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Philippines financial markets shut after volcano eruption

By Ramla Soni

All fixed-income, clearing and settlement, transfer operations, and depository operations have been suspended

Closed for business: volcano has dispersed huge volumes of ash across the Philippine capital, Manila

Financial markets in the Philippines have closed down. This is to ensure the safety of employees and traders after a volcano near Manila dispersed huge volumes of ash across the capital.

The operator of the country’s fixed-income trading platform, PDS Group, said in a statement that all fixed-income, clearing and settlement, transfer operations, and depository operations have been suspended.

Regular fixed-income trading and settlement operations are expected to resume on January 14, the group said.

Separately, the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines encouraged banks to exercise discretion to ensure the safety of their employees.

Thousands of people were evacuated from the area near Taal volcano in Batangas province after it suddenly shot ash and steam as high as 15km (nine miles) into the sky on Sunday. This led to the cancellation of flights and closure of schools and government offices.

More than 24,500 people are said to have already been evacuated.

Taal is one of the world’s smallest volcanoes and among two dozen active in the Philippines, which lies on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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