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Trading of stock index futures, options soars amid virus-caused market rout

All News 08:32 April 08, 2020

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- Transactions of stock index futures and options in South Korea spiked in February due to greater market volatility caused by the new coronavirus outbreak, data showed Wednesday.

The daily turnover of stock index futures came to 30.9 trillion won (US$25.5 billion) in February, up 58 percent from January and 76 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.

The figure is the largest since the 33.4 trillion won recorded in June 2013.

The daily average of stock index futures contracts jumped about 62 percent on-month to 425,788, the highest since September 2011.

Trading of stock index futures, options soars amid virus-caused market rout - 1

The daily turnover of stock index options also soared 70 percent on-month to 1.1 trillion won in February. The amount is up 91 percent from a year earlier and the largest since September 2013.

Transactions of stock index futures and options tend to increase amid high market volatility as they serve as hedges against risks.

Stung by the fast spread of COVID-19, South Korea's stock market took a roller-coaster ride in February.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), which stood at 2,110 as of end-January, hovered around the 2,240-point level in mid-February before tumbling to 1,980 at the end of that month.

The novel coronavirus has been gripping the world since it first appeared in China, upending business activity and people's daily lives. The disease has infected more than 1.4 million people across the world with the global death toll passing 80,000.
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