March 17, 2020 / 3:11 AM / 20 days ago

S.Korea stocks drop after Wall Street slump; c.bank actions fail calm nerves

    * KOSPI tumbles more than 2%, foreigners sell
    * KRW weakens 1.2% against USD
    * S.Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, March 17 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:

** South Korean shares fell more than 2% on Tuesday, following a
historic rout on Wall Street, on fears of the coronavirus that
poses a major threat to economic growth and as actions from
major central banks failed to encourage investors. The Korean
won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
    
** By 0232 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         fell 43.94 points,
or 2.56%, to 1,670.92, after dropping as much as 4.5% to 1637.88
in early trade, the lowest since early-June 2010. The index has
fallen 23.97% so far this year.
 
** Foreigners sold net 311.6 billion won ($251.04 million) 
worth of shares on the main board.
        
** Financial markets cratered on Monday with the S&P 500       
tumbling 12%, its biggest drop since "Black Monday" three
decades ago, as a series of emergency central bank rate cuts
globally only added to the recent sense of investor panic. 
 
** A plunge in local equities are tracking that from the United
States and market volatility will remain high as the coronavirus
risk persists, said Lee Won, analyst at Bookook Securities.

** The country reported 84 new infections on Tuesday, bringing
the total to 8,320.             
    
** After the onshore markets closed on Monday, the Bank of Korea
slashed interest rates by 50 basis points to a record low,
joining global central banks to soften the economic fallout.
            
    
** The nation's vice finance minister said on Tuesday the
widening fallout from the coronavirus outbreak may lead to
unprecedented economic and financial crisis for the country.
            
** U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said the worst of the
new coronavirus could be over by July or August, adding that a
recession was possible.                  
    
** The won was quoted at 1,240.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 1.20% lower than its previous
close of 1,226.0. In early trade, the currency weakened to its
lowest since Feb. 29 2016.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,240.4 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.6% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,234.7 per dollar.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.28 points to 111.58.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 9.5
basis points to 1.018%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
by 2.4 basis points to 1.500%.

($1 = 1,241.2200 won)

 (Reporting by Joori Roh, Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee;
Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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