May 14, 2020 / 3:28 AM / 20 days ago

S.Korean shares drop 1% after U.S. Fed's sombre economic diagnosis

    * KOSPI down, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, May 14 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korean shares fell 1% on Thursday as sentiment soured
after the U.S. Federal Reserve warned that the fallout from the
pandemic may be worse than any downturn since World War II. The
Korean won and the benchmark bond yield weakened.
** The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI         was down 20.52
points, or 1.06%, at 1,919.90, as of 0227 GMT.
** Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday issued his sober review
of an economy slammed by a record pace of job losses and bracing
for worse ahead as most U.S. states moved toward reopening from
the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
** U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday the
economy will be reopened slowly but he cautioned that waiting
too long risked severe economic damage.             
** Adding to investors' angst, a top World Health Organization
official said the virus may never go away.              
** Investors are concerned that recovery from the coronavirus
fallout may be slower than expected, said DS Investment &
Securities Na Jeong-hwan, adding that worries of a second wave
of infections also dented sentiment.
** South Korea health authorities said they had no immediate
plans to reinstate strict social distancing rules despite a
fresh outbreak in Seoul. The country reported 29 new coronavirus
cases on Thursday, bringing the national tally to 10,991.
** Foreigners were net sellers of 228.4 billion won ($185.93
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,228.6 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.39% lower than its previous
close at 1,223.8.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,228.2 per
dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,227.3.
** The KOSPI lost 12.64% so far this year, but gained 15.1% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 465.45 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
896, the number of advancing shares was 160.
** The won lost 5.9% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year
treasury bonds         dropped 0.03 points to 112.06.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose 2.4
basis points to 0.879%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
1.1 basis points to 1.381%.

($1 = 1,228.4000 won)

 (Reporting by Jihoon Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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