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Seoul: Stocks, won fall as new Covid-19 cases in US hit record

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South Korean shares closed lower on Friday, as surging infections of the novel coronavirus in the United States sapped risk appetite and fuelled fears of more restrictions. The Korean won weakened and the benchmark bond yield fell.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed lower on Friday, as surging infections of the novel coronavirus in the United States sapped risk appetite and fuelled fears of more restrictions. The Korean won weakened and the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Kospi closed down 17.65 points or 0.81 per cent to 2,150.25. For the week, the index fell 0.1 per cent.

A record surge in daily cases of Covid-19 and rising death toll in several US states dimmed hopes of a quick economic recovery, while the South Korean tally rose to 13,338 after 45 fresh infections were reported.

South Korea also said it will further tighten property market rules and impose heavier taxes on multiple homeowners as more than 20 rounds of cooling measures introduced in the past three years failed to calm runaway home prices.

Foreigners were net sellers of 343.10 billion won (S$399 million) worth of shares on the main board.

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The won was quoted at 1,204.5 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.75 per cent lower than its previous close. It weakened 0.49 per cent on a weekly basis.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,204.1 per US dollar, down 0.6 per cent, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,204.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 1.22 per cent.

The trading volume was 876.18 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 190.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 point to 112.04.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.6 basis point to 0.846 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 1.394 per cent.

REUTERS

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