March 23, 2020 / 7:14 AM / 6 days ago

S.Korean shares close over 5% lower as virus-driven shutdowns rise

* KOSPI tumbles 5.3%, triggering sidecar limits

* KRW slides 1.6% against USD

* S.Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, March 23 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares fell more than 5% on Monday as a rising number of coronavirus-driven shutdowns across the globe fanned fears of a deep recession, eclipsing policy efforts to stabilise markets. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The benchmark KOSPI closed down 80.10 points, or 5.11%, at 1,486.05, having fallen as much as 6.9% in early trade. The index has lost 32.38% so far this year.

** The Korea Exchange said sidecar limits were triggered on the benchmark index and the junior KOSDAQ index to halt programme trading for 5 minutes.

** South Korea’s central bank said on Monday it will conduct repo operations of 14-day or 28-day maturities on Tuesday to ensure financial institutions have access to short-term credit as the coronavirus causes chaos in global financial markets.

** The South Korean government will make an all-out effort to prevent market volatility from turning into a credit crunch, the vice finance minister said.

** Disappointing news on the coronavirus pandemic, such as failure of the U.S. Senate to pass the stimulus package bill, kept investor sentiment weak. Market participants are also awaiting additional preemptive measures that will help reduce market volatility, said Seo Jung-hun, an analyst at Samsung Investment & Securities.

** A $1 trillion-plus virus response bill from the U.S. failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-member chamber, but talks continued over Democrats’ demands for more funding for medical care and state and local efforts to combat the pandemic. ** The Group of 20 finance leaders will not issue a statement after Monday’s teleconference, a G20 source told Reuters.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 502.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended trading at 1,271.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 1.94% lower than its previous close at 1,246.5. The won has lost 9.0% against the dollar so far this year.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,270.1 per dollar, down 1.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,264.5.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.11 points to 110.85.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 3.7 basis points to 1.142%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 9.4 basis points to 1.707%. (Jihoon Lee; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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