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Seoul: Shares end flat as virus fears offset optimism of EU deal, US stimulus hopes

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended nearly unchanged on Wednesday as US President Donald Trump's comment on the coronavirus crisis escalated worries over surging cases, countering optimism around the European Union's recovery fund and US stimulus talks. The won rose, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The benchmark Kospi fell 0.17 point or 0.01 per cent to 2,228.66.

Mr Trump in his first White House briefing focused on the pandemic in months warned that the virus would probably get worse before it gets better.

Meanwhile, White House officials and top congressional Democrats discussed another round of coronavirus relief that would include extended unemployment insurance and more money for schools.

On Tuesday, the European Union leaders clinched a "historic" deal on a 750 billion euro (S$1.2 trillion) stimulus plan for their coronavirus-throttled economies.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 103 billion won (S$119.4 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won closed trading at 1,195.3 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,197.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,194.1 per US dollar, unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,193.5.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 839.44 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 423.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 point to 112.20, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 0.79 per cent in late afternoon trade.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.8 basis point to 0.810 per cent in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.1 basis points to 1.345 per cent.

REUTERS

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