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Seoul: Stocks drop on China-US spat, virus worries

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South Korean shares slid on Friday as investors fretted over escalating US-China tensions and surging Covid-19 cases.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares slid on Friday as investors fretted over escalating US-China tensions and surging Covid-19 cases.

The benchmark Kospi ended 15.75 points, or 0.71 per cent, lower at 2,200.44. For the week, the index closed little changed.

China's foreign ministry said it told the US embassy on Friday morning to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu, days after Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in nearly four months, suggesting the labour market was stalling.

Markets now await details of the US stimulus plan and the Federal Reserve meeting due next week, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities.

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Foreigners were net buyers of US$72.31 million worth of shares on the main board.

The trading volume in the Kospi index was 979.28 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 265.

REUTERS

 

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