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Seoul: Shares post sharpest gain in month on virus drug hopes

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares jumped on Monday as an analysis of an antiviral drug to treat Covid-19 yielded positive results, while investors awaited corporate earnings and China's June trade data due this week. The Korean won and the benchmark bond gained.

The country's benchmark Kospi closed up 35.81 points or 1.67 per cent to 2,186.06, logging the sharpest daily gain in a month.

Market sentiment improved after US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences said an analysis showed its antiviral remdesivir helped reduce the risk of death in severely ill Covid-19 patients, but cautioned that rigorous clinical trials were needed to confirm the benefit.

Meanwhile, Korea Customs Service data showed that South Korean exports for the first 10 days of this month slid 1.7 per cent from last year, but those to China and the United States rose 9.4 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively.

Foreigners were net buyers of 100.20 billion won (S$116 million) worth of shares on the main board.

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The won was quoted at 1,200.9 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.3 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,204.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,200.2 per US dollar, nearly unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,200.1.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 641.52 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 608.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 point to 111.99.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.2 basis points to 0.863 per cent in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.3 basis points to 1.420 per cent.

REUTERS

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