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South Korea: Stocks close at 4-mth low as central bank dashes rate cut hopes

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The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI fell 21.88 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 2,054.89, its lowest close since Oct 11, 2019.

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks shed 1 per cent on Thursday, closing at their lowest since early October last year, after the central bank unexpectedly held interest rates steady, spooking investors who had been expecting more stimulus to reduce the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI fell 21.88 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 2,054.89, its lowest close since Oct 11, 2019.

The Bank of Korea kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday, dashing expectations for a cut even as it downgraded the growth outlook amid mounting fears the coronavirus outbreak could derail Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Foreigners were net sellers of US$334.93 million worth of KOSPI stocks on Thursday.

The KOSPI has fallen 6.50 per cent so far this year, and lost 6.8 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 551.35 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 906, 138 shares advanced.

REUTERS