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Seoul: Stocks tumble to near 10-yr-low as global easing fails to calm nerves

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The benchmark KOSPI ended down 42.42 points, or 2.47 per cent, to 1,672.44, the lowest close since early-October 2011.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares plunged to a near 10-year-low on Tuesday, following a historic rout on Wall Street, on fears of the coronavirus that poses a major threat to economic growth and as actions from major central banks failed to encourage investors. 

The benchmark KOSPI ended down 42.42 points, or 2.47 per cent, to 1,672.44, the lowest close since early-October 2011.

It dropped as much as 4.49 per cent to 1637.88 in early trade to the lowest since early-June 2010.

The index has fallen 23.90 per cent so far this year.

Foreigners sold net US$681.68 million worth of shares on the main board.

Financial markets cratered on Monday with the S&P 500 tumbling 12 per cent, its biggest drop since "Black Monday" three decades ago.

The country reported 84 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 8,320.

After the onshore markets closed on Monday, the Bank of Korea slashed interest rates by 50 basis points to a record low, joining global central banks.

The nation's vice finance minister said on Tuesday the widening fallout from the coronavirus outbreak may lead to unprecedented economic and financial crisis for the country.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday the worst of the new coronavirus could be over by July or August, adding that a recession was possible.

Mr Trump's remarks underlining possibilities of prolonged virus spread have worsened sentiment, said Kim Byung-yeon, analyst at NH Investment & Securities, adding market volatility going forward depends on the development of the virus issue.

REUTERS