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Seoul: Stocks recoup early losses on tech gains

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed flat on Wednesday, as tech stocks helped recoup losses in the afternoon session, though worries about a global economic recovery capped further gains.

The won edged up, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The benchmark Kospi closed 0.65 point or 0.03 per cent higher at 2,333.24, snapping two straight days of losses.

The UK government tightened social restrictions, along with other European economies including Denmark and Greece, stoking worries that fresh lockdowns could further dent a nascent global economic recovery.

The technology sector lifted the market in afternoon trading, with chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix gaining 0.7 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

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Battery supplier LG Chem, however, fell 1.4 per cent after electric vehicle maker Tesla unveiled plans to cut costs and produce its own batteries.

South Korea reported 110 new coronavirus cases as of Tuesday midnight, much sharper than 61 a day earlier and bringing the national tally to 23,216.

Late on Tuesday, the Parliament approved a 7.8 trillion won (S$9.14 billion) supplementary budget to aid households and small businesses facing mass closures amid tight social distancing restrictions.

Foreigners were net sellers of 58.1 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won ended trading at 1,164.4 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.05 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,165.0.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,164.4 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,164.0.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 point to 111.94.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.2 basis points to 0.885 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 3 basis points to 1.444 per cent.


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