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Stocks stable after last week’s Kospi’s plunge

Feb 04,2020
Stocks ended nearly flat Monday, after trimming earlier losses amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak. The won fell against the dollar.

China is moving to stabilize markets by injecting liquidity.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi inched up 0.13 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,118.88. The index dipped to as low as 2,082.74 points at one point.

The main index plunged 5.7 percent last week. Trading volume was moderate at 827.34 million shares worth 7.92 trillion won ($7.34 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 573 to 295.

The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled nearly 9 percent Monday as it resumed trading following a Lunar New Year break that began on Jan. 24 and ended on Feb. 2. It rebounded slightly, helped by Beijing’s announcement to inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the markets.

“The Kospi index rebounded following its sharp decline last week as investors judged that the Shanghai benchmark’s sharp decline belatedly reflected the global stock market’s tumble during the holiday,” NH Investment & Securities analyst Noh Dong-kil said.

Investors are keeping a close eye on developments involving the deadly respiratory illness which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The virus has spread to more than 20 countries.

Institutions and individuals bought a combined 288 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting foreign selling valued at 308.13 billion won.

Tech stocks advanced, keeping the Kospi from falling further.

Samsung Electronics rose 1.4 percent to 57,200 won, and SK hynix climbed 1.3 percent to 94,700 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.2 percent to 123,500 won ahead of output reduction at its plants. Its affiliate Kia Motors declined 2 percent to 40,100 won. State-run utility Korea Electric Power shed 1.2 percent to 25,050 won.

Cosmetic shares were mixed. Amorepacific inched up 1.6 percent to close at 191,000 won while its rival LG Household & Health Care lost 0.64 percent closing at 1,250,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,195.00 won to the dollar, down 3.20 won from the previous session’s close.

The secondary Kosdaq was up 4.37 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 646.85.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds shed 0.8 basis points to stand at 1.291 percent, while the benchmark 10-year government bond shed 7.9 basis points to reach 1.50 percent.

BY KANG JAE-EUN, YONHAP [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]


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