March 11, 2020 / 7:29 AM / 24 days ago

S.Korea stocks hit over 4-yr low as virus cases jump, U.S. stimulus disappoints

* KOSPI tumbles, foreigners sell

* KRW flat against USD

* S.Korea benchmark bond yield rise

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, March 11 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares ended at a more than four-year low on Wednesday, as new local coronavirus cases jumped and investors doubted whether Asian markets would benefit from Washington’s stimulus package to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The won closed flat, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The country reported 242 new virus cases as of early Wednesday, reversing 11 days of slowing infections and bringing the national tally to 7,755. Total death toll from the virus was 60.

** The benchmark KOSPI ended down 54.66 points, or 2.78%, at 1,908.27, the lowest close since Feb. 17, 2016. The index has fallen 13.2% so far this year.

** As U.S. coronavirus cases jumped, the White House and Congress negotiated measures on Tuesday to bolster the U.S. economy and Americans’ paychecks, although the absence of any major announcements disappointed some investors.

** U.S. stock futures extended its decline by 2.8% in Asia trade and the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also fell 1.13%.

** Near-term rebound in the KOSPI seems unlikely, as a jump in new infections dented hopes that the virus outbreak in South Korea is being contained, Bookook Securities’ analyst Lee Won said.

** Lee also said the big selloff in major tech shares by foreign investors piled downside pressure on the KOSPI, adding that the Seoul government’s tightened rules on short-selling of stocks were unlikely to curb market volatility.

** Starting on Wednesday, stocks with a sudden and abnormal increase in short-selling transactions will be suspended from further short-selling for 10 days. The current rule calls for short-selling to be suspended for just one day.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 696.2 billion won ($582.81 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** Heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix both ended down more than 4%.

** The won ended at 1,193.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, flat from its previous close of 1,193.2. The currency has lost 3.1% so far this year.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,194.5 per U.S. dollar, down 0.7% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,193.5.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 662.82 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 81.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 111.42, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.40% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.5 basis points to 1.093% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.9 basis points to 1.372%.

$1 = 1,194.5600 won Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Aditya Soni

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