S.Korean shares slip as surge in virus-related deaths stokes investors’ concerns

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* KOSPI slips, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares slipped on Wednesday after two consecutive sessions of sharp gains, as a surge in virus-related deaths reined-in investors’ optimism toward the coronavirus pandemic slowing down. The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI fell 2.30 points, or 0.13%, to 1,821.30 as of 0213 GMT. It has fallen 17.13% so far this year.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 48.5 billion won ($39.75 million) worth of shares on the main board, set to extend the selloff into the 25th straight session.

** Even as medical teams struggled to save an onslaught of gravely ill coronavirus patients and deaths hit new highs, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations seemed to be levelling off in New York state, the U.S. epicentre of the pandemic, Governor of New York said on Tuesday.

** South Korea reported 53 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the national tally to 10,384.

** Investors were under pressure in early session from a surge of coronavirus-related deaths, casting doubts that it might be too soon to get optimistic about slowing down of the epidemic, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Securities.

** The won was quoted at 1,220.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.05% higher than its previous close at 1,221.2.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,219.4 per dollar, down 0.4% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,219.0.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.32%.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 448.04 million shares. Of the 902 issues traded, 411 shares advanced.

** The won has lost 5.3% against the dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, three-year treasury bond June futures rose 0.03 points to 111.43.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.0 basis points to 1.039%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 2.2 basis points to 1.558%.

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