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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day losing streak on China stimulus, Korean won sharply up

All News 16:35 February 04, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares snapped a three-day losing streak to spike by almost 2 percent on Tuesday, as foreigners purchased large-cap stocks on Chinese stimulus measures to offset fallout from the new coronavirus. The Korean won rose sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 39.02 points, or 1.84 percent, to 2,157.90, ending the selling streak for the past three days sparked by the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.

China added stimulus measures to shore up growth, and the People's Bank of China announced its plan to inject US$21.7 billion into markets last week, analysts said.
The KOSPI plunged 5.7 percent last week.

"Expectations for a rate cut in China and Chinese economic stimulus packages improved investor sentiment," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

This photo taken on Feb. 4, 2020 shows the dealing room of KEB Hana Bank in Seoul, South Korea. (Yonhap)

Still, investors will remain wary as global stock markets are highly volatile due to the coronavirus outbreak that is continuing to spread across borders and is driving down demand in China, the world's second-biggest economy after the United States.

Since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed at least 425 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Tuesday and reached 24 countries, including the U.S.

South Korea has reported 16 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

Foreigners and individuals bought a combined 690.9 billion won ($582 million) worth of stocks, offsetting institutions' net selling of stocks valued at 704.1 billion won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 2.97 percent to 58,900 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2.53 percent to 97,100 won and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gained 0.40 percent to 124,000 won.

Among losers, leading steelmaker POSCO fell 0.23 percent to 214,000 won, and dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. was down 1.93 percent to 91,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,187.40 won to the dollar, up 7.60 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 4.0 basis points to 1.331 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond increased 6.9 basis points to reach 1.442 percent.


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