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Seoul: Shares post biggest weekly fall since mid-March after US rout

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South Korean stocks fell 2 per cent on Friday, posting their biggest weekly decline since mid-March, after Wall Street shares dived overnight on renewed fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks fell 2 per cent on Friday, posting their biggest weekly decline since mid-March, after Wall Street shares dived overnight on renewed fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

As of 6.30am GMT (2.30pm SGT), the Seoul stock market's main Kospi fell 44.48 points or 2.04 per cent to 2,132.30. For the week, it lost 2.27 per cent, the biggest since an 11.60 per cent drop in the week to March 20.

"There are concerns about a second wave (of Covid-19 infections in the United States). Because it's still a concern and not a fact just yet, the momentum for an upturn could come back after a couple of days of losses," said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Samsung Electronics fell 3.68 per cent and SK Hynix dropped 3.73 per cent, while Samsung Biologics jumped 7.76 per cent.

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About half a dozen US states, including Texas and Arizona, are grappling with a rising number of coronavirus patients filling hospital beds, fanning concerns that the reopening of the economy may spark a second wave of infections.

The S&P 500 slumped 5.9 per cent in its steepest one-session loss since March 16 on Thursday. Investors also reacted to dour economic forecasts from the Federal Reserve.

Foreigners were net sellers of 265.50 billion won (S$307.4 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,203.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.61 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,196.4 and marking the sharpest daily loss since early May.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 point to 112.08, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 0.79 per cent in late afternoon trade.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.4 basis point to 0.841 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.7 basis point to 1.388 per cent.

REUTERS

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