NAIROBI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) halted trading on Friday following the decline of the benchmark NSE 20 Share Index by over 5 percent after the market reacted to report of the first case of COVID-19 in the eastern African country.
The NSE said in a statement that trading was stopped at 2:38 p.m. East African Time (11:38 GMT) as per the provisions of rules governing the market.
"The NSE wishes to notify market participants, investors, key stakeholders and the general public that trading was halted on Friday, March 13 as per the provisions of Rule 9.4.1 (ii) of the NSE Equity Trading Rules," said NSE.
According to rules, "when the NSE 20 Share Index decreases by more than 5 percent at the opening session compared to its closing value or during the continuous session, compared to its opening value, the exchange may temporarily halt trading for not more than 30 minutes," said the NSE, which added that normal activity will resume on March 16.
The NSE 20 Share Index measures the performance of top blue-chip stocks, which have been on a decline. On Friday, the index closed 5 percent below the 2,236.81 level where it stood on Thursday, showing the top stocks sustained a downward trend that has seen it hit over 10-year-low due to coronavirus jitters.