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Markets

South Korean stocks rise, tracking Wall St rally; surging virus cases weigh

  • The won strengthened to a five-month-high, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
Published August 19, 2020
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SEOUL: Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares rose on Wednesday, somewhat recovering from a 2.5pc decline in the previous session, as global mood improved after the S&P 500 scaled a record peak overnight. Gains, however, were capped by the biggest one-day jump in domestic coronavirus cases in more than five months.

The benchmark KOSPI closed up 12.30 points, or 0.52pc, at 2,360.54.

The won strengthened to a five-month-high, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

South Korea reported on Wednesday 297 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily rise since early March, as outbreaks from churches around the capital spread, even after the government tightened social distancing rules on Tuesday.

That brought the national tally to 16,508 and 306 deaths.

Worries that surging COVID-19 cases and the tightened social distancing measures would weigh on the economic activity sapped sentiment, although the impact on financial markets seems to be limited so far, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst with Daishin Securities.

Foreigners were net sellers of 249.9 billion won ($211.60 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won ended trading at 1,181.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21pc higher than its previous close at 1,183.7 and the strongest since March 5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,181.0 per dollar, up 0.1pc from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,181.0.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.42pc.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 613.41 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 901, the number of advancing shares was 661.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 points to 112.27.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.8 basis points to 0.802pc, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.6 basis points to 1.341pc.

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