The Business Times

Seoul: Stocks fall on virus variant woes, firm dollar; focus on US data

Published Thu, Jul 1, 2021 · 03:14 PM

[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended lower on Thursday, pressured by worries about the spread of Covid-19's Delta variant and a strengthening of the US dollar ahead of a closely-watched US jobs report on Friday. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield also fell.

The Kospi closed down 14.62 points or 0.44 per cent at 3,282.06.

Among heavyweights, chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix fell 0.74 per cent and 2.35 per cent, respectively, while battery maker LG Chem and internet giant Naver dropped 0.59 per cent and 1.08 per cent.

Foreigners were net sellers of 407.4 billion won (S$484 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The dollar headed for its biggest monthly rise since November 2016, as investors turned to the safe-haven currency betting that a good Friday jobs report will strengthen the US Federal Reserve's hawkish tilt.

Worries about the novel coronavirus persist with high readings and snap lockdowns being announced in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

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Meanwhile, South Korean exports marked a fourth consecutive month of double-digit growth in June.

Separately, a private sector survey also showed the country's factory activity extended growth into a ninth month in June.

The won ended at 1,133.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.62 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,126.1.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,132.7, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,132.8.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 point to 109.93.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 2.1 basis points to 1.469 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.3 basis point to 2.089 per cent.

REUTERS

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