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Foreign stock sell-off hits record high amid growing virus angst, oil crash

All News 16:53 March 09, 2020

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- Foreign investors' sell-off of South Korean stocks reached a record high on Monday as investors rushed to pull out of emerging markets amid the growing coronavirus scare and a sharp decline in oil prices, according to the country's bourse operator.

Offshore investors sold a net 1.31 trillion won (US$1.09 billion) worth of South Korean stock, the largest daily sell-off since the Korea Exchange (KRX) began tracking the data in 1999.

In the face of the massive foreign selling binge, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) crashed 4.19 percent to close at 1,954.77 points, the lowest reading after 1,933.41 on Aug. 29 last year.

Foreign stock sell-off hits record high amid growing virus angst, oil crash - 1

Foreigners were net sellers for a third consecutive session, dumping a combined 2.02 trillion won amid concerns over the fast-spreading COVID-19.

Since the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus here on Jan. 20, foreigners had net sold 7.77 trillion won worth of local stocks.

Retail investors, meanwhile, scooped up a net 1.27 trillion won worth of local stocks on Monday, hoping for an overall rebound. Since Jan. 20, they net bought 11.1 trillion won worth of stocks.

"The short-term fall in the KOSPI is shaking off the investor sentiment," Daishin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said. "(The government's) strengthening policy measures are likely to become a key variable in this year's financial market," he added.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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