March 13, 2020 / 3:16 AM / 19 days ago

S.Korean stocks plunge, triggering KOSPI circuit breakers for first time since 2001

    * KOSPI plunge near 8%, foreigners sell net $466.2 mln
    * KRW tumbles 1.5% versus USD
    * S.Korea benchmark bond yield jumps

    SEOUL, March 13 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
** South Korean shares plunged to a near 10-year low on Friday,
triggering circuit breakers on the main index for the first time
in nearly two decades, as panic over the coronavirus led to a
rout in global equities. The won slid to a four-year low, while
the benchmark bond yield soared.
** By 0233 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI         was down 128.68
points, or 7.02%, at 1,705.65. It earlier fell as much as 8.2%
to the lowest since late 2011, and has lost 22.39% so far this
** The index was set to post the biggest weekly decline since
the 2008 financial crisis.
** The Korea Exchange activated trading curbs on the local stock
market for a second straight day on Friday.             
** The Bank of Korea said on Friday its seven-member committee
was discussing whether to hold a rare inter-meeting review to
cut policy interest rates              to a new record-low. The
bank has not delivered an emergency rate cut since October 2008.
** South Korea's FX authorities said they will act to stem any
herd-like behaviour in the currency market, while multiple
dealers told Reuters that the authorities were suspected to have
sold dollars to curb the won's weakness.             
** Foreigners were net sellers of 570.6 billion won ($466.22
million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,224.3 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 1.45% lower than its previous
close of 1,206.5.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,224.4 per
U.S. dollar, down 1.1% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,221.4 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 4.16%, while Japanese stocks        
fell 7.97%.
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 473.87 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
904, the number of advancing shares was 8.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.18 points to 111.33.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 7.6
basis points to 1.140%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose
by 12.9 basis points to 1.515%.
    ($1 = 1,223.8900 won)

 (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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