Seoul stocks close nearly flat on heightened coronavirus concerns


SOUTH Korean stocks, on Wednesday, closed nearly flat as investors remained wary over the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. The Korean won rose slightly against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), rose 1.46 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 2,210.34. Trading volume was moderate at 581 million shares worth 6.9 trillion won, with losers outnumbering gainers 537 to 305.

The index had a solid start, reaching as high as 2,226.00, but quickly fell below the flat line after local health authorities reported 15 additional novel coronavirus infections, the biggest daily jump in confirmed cases, raising total to 46.
However, after touching an intraday low of 2,192.20 points, the index bounced back, but could not gain further momentum.

Foreigners dumped a net 220 billion worth of local shares, while institutional investors sold a net 19 billion won. Retail investors bought a net of 167 billion won.
Large caps were mixed, although tech shares closed up.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 0.67 percent to 60,200 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 1.47 percent to 103,500 won.
The leading carmaker, Hyundai Motor, slid 0.75 percent to 131,500 won, and its sister company, Kia Motors, fell 0.12 percent to 41,300 won.

The country’s No. 1 chemical firm, LG Chem, plunged 3.35 percent to 404,000 won, and pharmaceutical giant Celltrion slipped 1.63 percent to 181,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,189.3 won against the dollar, up 0.2 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.3 basis points to 1.284 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond dropped 0.1 basis point to 1.380 percent.


– Feb 20, 2020 @ 09:15 GMT |

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