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Seoul: Shares end lower as surging virus cases hit risk appetite

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South Korean shares fell on Wednesday due to subdued risk appetite, as surging coronavirus cases in the United States and around the world dented hopes of a quicker global economic recovery. The won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares fell on Wednesday due to subdued risk appetite, as surging coronavirus cases in the United States and around the world dented hopes of a quicker global economic recovery. The won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi closed down 5.29 points or 0.24 per cent at 2,158.88.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States pushed past three million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, roughly equal to the population of Nevada, stoking fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed.

A surge in infections that threatens to pinch consumer spending and job gains just as some stimulus programmes are due to expire has US Federal Reserve policymakers worried, with at least one pledging more support from the central bank.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported 63 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the national tally to 13,244.

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Stocks fell on worries of a coronavirus second wave, said DS Investment & Securities Na Jeong-hwan, adding that there seems little attraction for offshore investors to come back amid ongoing second wave risks.

Foreigners were net sellers of 343.90 billion won (S$400.8 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won closed trading at 1,195.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.02 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,195.7.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted up 0.1 per cent at 1,195.9 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,195.8.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 point to 112.09.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.4 basis point to 0.839 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.9 basis point to 1.378 per cent.

REUTERS

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