Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Asia, Forex

S.Korean stocks post sharpest fall in 2 weeks on China virus concerns

* KOSPI tumbles, foreigners sell

* KRW drops against USD

* South Korea benchmark bond yields fall

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares fell sharply on Tuesday on growing worries over a new virus outbreak in China, with traders also awaiting the release of data on 2019 gross domestic product growth on Wednesday. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yields also tumbled.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI closed down 22.95 points, or 1.01%, to 2,239.69, marking the sharpest fall in two weeks.

** China reported a fourth death due to the outbreak and said the coronavirus could spread from person-to-person, raising concerns about Chinese travellers during the Lunar New Year holiday. The World Health Organisation has convened an emergency committee of experts on Wednesday, while health authorities around the world stepped up screening.

** Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed the South Korean economy likely expanded 1.9% in 2019, which would be a notch below the central bank’s 2% projection. The Bank of Korea will release the data on Wednesday.

** South Korea’s exports in the first 20 days of January fell 0.2% from a year earlier, marking the smallest decline in about a year on better chip sales, data from the Korea Customs Service showed.

** “Now that the Wuhan coronavirus has been found to be able to be transmitted from human to human, the economic consequences could be extremely concerning for the Asia-Pacific region,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.

** “The 2003 SARS crisis created a severe negative impact on GDP growth for the Chinese economy and also hit the economies of a number of Southeast Asian nations,” he added, as fears of the spread of recent SARS-like virus epidemic loom.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 203.1 billion won ($174.06 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,167.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.76% lower than its previous close at 1,158.1. This was the sharpest fall since January 3.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,166.8 per dollar, down 0.7% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,165.8 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.18%, while Japanese stocks fell 0.91%.

** The KOSPI has risen 1.91% so far this year.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 758.69 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 909, the number of advancing shares was 232.

** The won has lost 0.9% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.20 points to 110.40, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.46% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 5.7 basis points to 1.401% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 7.4 basis points to 1.693%.

($1 = 1,166.8100 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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