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Seoul: Stocks post sharpest weekly fall in six months


[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed higher on Friday, but posted their sharpest weekly fall in six months on concerns that a second wave of Covid-19 cases could tamper economic recovery.

The won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The benchmark Kospi closed up 6.09 points or 0.27 per cent at 2,278.79, rebounding from a near two-month low hit in the previous session.

The index, however, tumbled 5.5 per cent for the week, logging the sharpest weekly loss since March-end after snapping a fourth straight weekly gain.

Majority of market heavyweights strengthened, with biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion leading the gains after closing 3.4 per cent higher.

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Shares of second-largest carrier Asiana Airlines and its affiliates Air Busan and Asiana IDT jumped after reports that the company and its creditors are considering to sell its budget carriers.

South Korea on Friday said it would impose tighter restrictions during Chuseok holiday weeks as the country reported 114 new coronavirus cases by Thursday midnight.

"Uncertainties are high as there are several important events during the Chuseok holiday such as October trade data, factory and employment data from the US and euro zone," said Lee Kyoung-min, Daishin Securities analyst.

Foreigners were net sellers of 90.4 billion won (S$106 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,172.3 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.03 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,172.7.

The currency fell 1 per cent on a weekly basis, the sharpest since late April.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,172.5 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,171.9.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 112.02.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 0.859 per cent.


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