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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day ahead of G7 measures on coronavirus

All News 16:40 March 03, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended higher for the second straight session on Tuesday ahead of a crucial teleconference by the Group of Seven on measures to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.64 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,014.15.

South Korean shares opened sharply higher earlier in the day, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street over expectations of rate cuts in the United States and other countries.

This photo shows the trading room of Hana Bank in downtown Seoul on March 3, 2020. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 11.64 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 2,014.15. (Yonhap)

But they trimmed earlier gains as no major breakthrough was reported in a draft joint statement on coronavirus by the G7, Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said.

Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., also said South Korean stocks trimmed earlier gains as a G7 draft statement reported by Reuters did not call for coordinated rate cuts.

G7 Finance ministers and central bank governors are to hold a teleconference later in the day to discuss how to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Huh said foreigners and institutions turned net sellers on profit-taking by taking advantage of a rebound in the local stock market. Foreign investors offloaded a net 307 billion won worth of local stocks, while retail investors scooped up a net 710 billion won.

South Korea has reported more than 4,800 confirmed coronavirus cases, while the death toll reached 28 on Tuesday.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 0.73 percent to 55,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix was up 0.76 percent to 92,800 won.

Hanjin KAL, the holding company of Hanjin Group, which has Korean Air Lines Co. and low-cost carrier Jin Air Co. under its wing, rose 20.6 percent to a record high of 80,800 won amid the owner family's dispute over management control.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.88 percent to 112,500 won, and South Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion declined 1.43 percent to 172,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,195.20 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.50 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.8 basis points to 1.110 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 1.3 basis points to 1.198 percent.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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