The Business Times

Seoul: Stocks post first weekly decline in seven on virus resurgence woes

Published Fri, Jul 2, 2021 · 03:29 PM

[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended flat on Friday, while posting their first weekly decline in seven, as concerns about a rapid resurgence in Covid-19 cases offset upbeat US data. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Kospi closed 0.28 point or 0.01 per cent lower at 3,281.78, following a 0.44 per cent decline on Thursday.

For the week, it fell 0.64 per cent, reversing a six-week winning streak.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, with layoffs plunging to a 21-year low in June.

But risk appetite was dented as South Korea's daily count of coronavirus cases topped 800 for Thursday, the highest in nearly six months, due to new cluster infections and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Among heavyweights, technology giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix slipped 0.12 per cent and 1.61 per cent, respectively, while internet giant Naver added 0.24 per cent.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 130.3 billion won (S$155 million) worth of shares on the main board.

At home, consumer inflation stayed above 2 per cent in June for the third consecutive month, hovering near a nine-year peak, adding pressure on policymakers to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

The won was quoted at 1,135.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.17 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,133.1.

It fell 0.64 per cent on a weekly basis, reversing a 0.41 per cent gain in the previous week.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,134.6, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,134.7.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 109.89.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.5 basis points to 1.484 per cent.

REUTERS

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