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Markets

South Korean stocks end flat as fast-spreading virus keeps investors wary

The won was quoted at 1,189.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.02pc higher than its previous close
19 Feb 2020
  • The won was quoted at 1,189.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.02pc higher than its previous close at 1,189.5.
  • The KOSPI has risen 0.58pc so far this year, and gained 1.5pc in the previous 30 trading sessions.
  • The won has lost 2.8pc against the dollar so far this year.

SEOUL: Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean stocks closed flat on Wednesday as investors turned cautious after the government reported 15 new coronavirus cases. The Korean won was almost unchanged, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

Including the new infected count, the total number of cases in the country rose to 46 as of Wednesday.

Investors were in a wait-and-see mode amid worries of the virus' impact on corporate profits, DS Investment & Securities analyst Na Jeong-hwan said, adding there will not be reckless selling as investors are aware this issue would not last long.

The KOSPI ended up 1.46 points, or 0.07pc, at 2,210.34.

Following a jump in new infections, mask manufacturers surged to hit their intraday price limit, with Monalisa and Kleannara closing up 30pc each.

Foreigners were net sellers of 234.0 billion won ($196.69 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,189.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.02pc higher than its previous close at 1,189.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,189.4 per U.S. dollar, up 0.1pc from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract  was quoted at 1,188.4 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan  was up 0.40pc. Japanese stocks rose 0.89pc.

The KOSPI has risen 0.58pc so far this year, and gained 1.5pc in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume was 581.77 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 906, the number of advancing shares was 303.

The won has lost 2.8pc against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 point to 110.80, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.42pc in late afternoon trade.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.2 basis points to 1.284pc in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.2 basis points to 1.559pc.