January 30, 2020 / 2:24 AM / 21 days ago

S.Korean stocks fall as virus fears escalate; won hits 7-week low

    * KOSPI wobbles, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won hits 7-week low vs dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korean shares dropped on Thursday as the rising death
toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China fanned worries of a
slowdown in global economic growth, while Samsung Electronics
declined after reporting a sharp fall in quarterly profit.      
** The Korean won weakened to its lowest in seven weeks, and the
benchmark bond yield also fell.
** China's National Health Commission said the death toll in the
country rose by 37 to 162, while the number of infected patients
rose to 7,711 cases.             
** Economic growth in South Korea's largest trading partner,
China, may drop to 5% or even lower due to the coronavirus
outbreak, a government economist said in remarks published on
** As of 0128 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
was down 11.59 points, or 0.53%, at 2,173.69.
** People are likely to avoid going out due to fear of
infection, which would weigh on domestic consumption and
corporate earnings, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook
Securities. He added South Korean retailers were especially
vulnerable due to their dependence on Chinese tourists. 
** Samsung Electronics Co Ltd             said it expects
earnings to bounce back in 2020 after a fourth-quarter slump,
helped by a gradual recovery in memory chip demand from data
centre customers and 5G smartphone makers.             
** Shares of Samsung Elec opened 0.5% lower after its earnings
announcement and fell as much as 2% to a three-week low. 
** Foreigners were net sellers of 36.6 billion won ($31.36
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,182.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.48% lower than its previous
close at 1,177.2. In early trade, the currency hit the lowest
since Dec. 12, 2019.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,182.2 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.3% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,181.0 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.68%, after U.S. stocks ended nearly
flat overnight            . Japanese stocks         fell 0.88%.
** The KOSPI is down 1.09% so far this year, but gained 3.8% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 248.42 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 903, the number of advancing shares was 190.
** The won has lost 2.2% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.11 points to 110.78, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.46%.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 3.8
basis points to 1.295%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
by 4.1 basis points to 1.545%.

($1 = 1,167.2000 won)    

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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