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Seoul: Stocks rally for seventh day on Covid-19 vaccine hopes

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares extended their rally to a seventh straight session on Tuesday, as progress in the development of a coronavirus vaccine boosted risk appetite and hopes of a swifter global economic recovery. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The benchmark Kospi closed up 5.63 points or 0.23 per cent at 2,452.83.

Pfizer said on Monday its Covid-19 vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing infection, marking the first successful results from a large-scale clinical trial.

Markets will remain on the lookout for more promising vaccine development. South Korea's airlines and travel-related shares soared after Pfizer's report, with Korean Air , Hanatour and Modetour surging 11.2 per cent, 9.2 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively.

South Korean Covid-19 test kit makers and vaccine makers, however, slumped after the statement on vaccine development, with Seegene and SugenTech plunging 8.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent, respectively.

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Foreigners continued to buy net 156.6 billion won (S$188.5 million) worth of shares on the main board, after purchasing net 2.3 trillion won in the previous three sessions.

The won ended at 1,115.1 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.11 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,113.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,115.0 per dollar, up 0.4 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,114.9.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.07 point to 111.64.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.4 basis points to 0.975 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 5.5 basis points to 1.623 per cent.


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