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South Korea: Stocks fall as virus spread shows no signs of abating

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The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended down 26.84 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 2,076.77.

SEOUL] South Korean markets shed more than 1 per cent on Wednesday as foreign investors dumped shares after coronavirus infections spread rapidly in the country. 

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended down 26.84 points, or 1.28 per cent, at 2,076.77. In early trade, the benchmark index plunged 2.1 per cent, hitting its lowest level since Dec 5, 2019.

South Korea reported 169 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, including a US soldier, pushing the total tally to 1,146, with the numbers expected to rise as the government widens its testing.

The rise of new virus cases show no signs of abating, weighing down local stocks, said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.

Foreigners were net sellers of US$728.36 million worth of KOSPI stocks on Wednesday, the most since June 13, 2013.

The KOSPI has fallen 5.5 per cent so far this year and lost 4.7 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 797.62 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 266.

REUTERS