May 13, 2020 / 4:51 AM / 14 days ago

S.Korean shares slump 1.3% amid fears of second coronavirus wave

    * KOSPI flat, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, May 13 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
** South Korean shares dropped up to 1.3% on Wednesday before
clawing back ground to trade flat, as worries of a second wave
of coronavirus infections home and abroad unnerved investors.
The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield weakened.
    
** The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI         was trading at 
1,921.52, as of 0228 GMT. The index recovered lost ground after
losing as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. 
    In the previous session, the index closed 0.7% lower at
1,922.17. 
        
** The director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases told U.S. Congress that the virus, which has
already killed 80,000 Americans, was not yet under control and
that there would not likely be a treatment or vaccine in place
by late August or early September.             
    
** South Korea reported 26 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday
amid fears of a second wave of infections, while reports of new
clusters of infections in China and Germany where shutdowns had
been lifted appear to have added to the worries.             
                         
    
** South Korea's unemployment rate was unchanged in April but
the number of employed fell at the fastest pace in more than two
decades, data showed on Wednesday, as measures to contain the
coronavirus closed businesses and reduced social activity.
            
    
** South Korea's central bank said on Wednesday it would raise
the ceiling for its special loans programme by 5 trillion won
($4.08 billion) to 35 trillion won to extend support to small
businesses hit by the pandemic.             
    
** Abundant liquidity helped stock prices recover their earlier
losses despite persisting worries over a second virus wave, said
Kim Byeong-yeon, analyst, NH Investment & Securities.
    
** Foreigners were net sellers of 216.1 billion won ($176.25
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,227.1 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.19% lower than its previous
close at 1,224.8.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        kept little changed at
1,226.0 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its
one-month contract               was quoted at 1,225.8.
    
** The KOSPI lost 12.57% so far this year, but gained 12.8% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 340.20 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
894, the number of advancing shares was 302.
    
** The won lost 5.8% against the dollar so far this year.
    
** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.15 point to 112.15.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell 4.4
basis points to 0.843%, while the benchmark 10-year yield
dropped 4.2 basis points to 1.380%.
 
    ($1 = 1,226.1300 won)

 (Reporting by Jihoon Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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