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Seoul: Stocks drop as Fed fails to calm virus panic

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South Korean shares dropped on Monday as emergency policy actions by the US Federal Reserve failed to calm investors panicking over the coronavirus, while poor Chinese data further soured risk sentiment.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares dropped on Monday as emergency policy actions by the US Federal Reserve failed to calm investors panicking over the coronavirus, while poor Chinese data further soured risk sentiment.

The benchmark KOSPI ended down 56.58 points, or 3.19 per cent, at 1,714.86. That marked a 5 per cent drop from the session peak of 1805.43. The index has fallen 21.97 per cent so far this year.

South Korea's central bank said on Monday it will hold an emergency policy-setting meeting, which will start at 4.30 pm. (0730 GMT).

The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 100 basis points to near zero on Sunday in another emergency move to help shore up the world's largest economy.

Foreign selloff continued as the Fed's cut failed to meet market expectations, while China's poor industrial output data, seen as prelude to South Korea's March exports data, dented sentiment, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities. 

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Foreigners were net sellers of around US$556.18 million worth of shares on the main board.

REUTERS

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