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KOSPI tumbles 20 pct in Q1 on coronavirus

All News 08:47 April 02, 2020

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main stock price index plunged nearly 20 percent in the first quarter of the year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, data showed Thursday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) tumbled 20.2 percent during the January-March period to close at 1,750, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.

It was the largest quarterly decline since the 22.4 percent nosedive recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008 amid a global financial crisis.

The market capitalization of the main bourse shrank by 296.2 trillion won (US$241 billion) to 1,179.7 trillion won during the three-month period.

Seventy-eight industrial subindexes out of the total 82 went south in the first quarter.

Dealers work in the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul on April 1, 2020. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged 69.18, or 3.94 percent, to close at 1,685.46. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI's first-quarter drop missed expectations among local brokerages and foreign investment banks that the index would make a strong rebound this year following the previous year's poor performance.

Indeed, the key index soared to a yearly high of 2,267.25 at the end of January, but the global spread of COVID-19 sent South Korean stocks into freefall.

In particular, the KOSPI rode unprecedented roller-coaster rides in March, with its daily volatility index averaging 4.27 percent, the highest since November 2008.

Despite seesaw sessions, retail investors rushed to snap up stocks in anticipation of price rises, pushing the daily turnover of the main and minor markets to an all-time record of 18.5 trillion won.

Meanwhile, the price index of the tech-laden, secondary KOSDAQ market also sank 15.04 percent in the first quarter, the largest since the fourth quarter of 2008.

KOSPI tumbles 20 pct in Q1 on coronavirus - 2


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