March 9, 2020 / 3:17 AM / a month ago

S.Korea stocks drop 4% on coronavirus, oil price panic

    * KOSPI set for biggest daily drop since Oct 2018;
foreigners sell
    * KRW drops against USD
    * S.Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, March 9 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
    ** South Korean shares plunged 4% on Monday as investors
raced to safer assets, fearing the economic damage from the
coronavirus epidemic, and as oil prices plunged over 30%. 
    ** South Korea's finance ministry issued a verbal warning
against disorderly currency market movement as the Korean won
fell nearly 1% against the dollar. The benchmark bond yield also
    ** The benchmark KOSPI index         slipped 81.13 points,
or 3.98%, to 1,959.09 by 0224 GMT. It was set to post the
biggest daily drop since Oct. 2018.
    ** "Investors rushed for safe havens on concerns over
sharply rising infections across the globe," said Seo
Sang-young, analyst at Kiwoom Securities, adding that market
volatility would continue to rise this week.
    ** The number of people infected with coronavirus topped
107,000 across the world, while South Korea reported 69 new
infections and one death as of early Monday, raising the
national tally to 7,382 cases and 51 deaths.              
    ** Oil plunged about 30% after Saudi Arabia, the world's top
oil exporter, slashed its official selling price and pledged to
ramp up output into a market already reeling from falling demand
from the coronavirus epidemic.             
    ** Foreigners were net sellers of 681.1 billion won worth of
shares on the main board.
    ** Heavyweights Samsung Electronics             and SK Hynix
            tumbled 4.8% and 6.4%, respectively.
    ** The won was quoted at 1,203.5 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.93% lower than its previous
close at 1,192.3.
    ** The currency fell as much as 1.25%, before recouping some
of its earlier losses after the finance ministry's verbal
    ** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,202.8
per U.S. dollar, down 1.2% from the previous day. In
non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,202.0 per dollar.
    ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan                 was down 3.76%. Japanese stocks        
and the Shanghai Composite Index         fell 5.7% and 1.8%,
    ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 347.76 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
903, the number of advancing shares was 39.
    ** The KOSPI has fallen 10.86% so far this year, while the
won has lost 3.9% against the dollar.
    ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.17 points to 111.65.
    ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by
5.4 basis points to 1.026%, while the benchmark 10-year yield
fell by 9.7 basis points to 1.273%.

 (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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