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Seoul: Stocks slip on US-China tensions, renewed virus fears

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South Korean shares fell on Tuesday as a record number of global coronavirus infections, mounting US-China tensions and gloomy outlook for corporate earnings dented sentiment. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares fell on Tuesday as a record number of global coronavirus infections, mounting US-China tensions and gloomy outlook for corporate earnings dented sentiment. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The benchmark Kospi closed down 2.45 points or 0.11 per cent to 2,183.61.

Broader sentiment was hit after the number of coronavirus infections around the world touched 13 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally.

The Trump administration plans to soon scrap a 2013 agreement between US and Chinese auditing authorities, a senior State Department official said.

Meanwhile, South Korea's government launched a plan on Tuesday to spend 114.10 trillion won (S$131.59 billion) on a "Green New Deal", which has pulled up shares of local companies engaged in digital technologies and environment-friendly industries.

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The Bank of Korea is widely expected to keep its key interest rates unchanged on Thursday and for the rest of 2020, a Reuters poll showed, as red-hot property prices forced policymakers into a tight corner.

Foreigners were net sellers of 41.80 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won ended trading at 1,205.7 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.4 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,200.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,205.1 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,204.5.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 111.97.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 0.862 per cent in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 1.423 per cent.

REUTERS

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