South Korea stocks slide on Omicron, US jobs data volatile

  • Fall of KOSPI, foreign net sellers
  • Korean won weakens against US dollar
  • South Korea’s benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, 3 Dec. (Reuters) – Overview of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean stocks fell on Friday as caution crept in after the local coronavirus count hit a new high this week as investors stayed away from big bets ahead of data on wages in the United States. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** As of 02:13 GMT, KOSPI (.KS11) was down 4.38 points, or 0.15%, to 2,940.89, after strong gains in the previous two sessions. For the week, the benchmark edged up 0.2%.

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** Chip giants Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) fell 1.72% and 3.33% respectively.

** The Omicron variant scared the markets for about a week, hitting travel-related stocks particularly hard as a patchwork of new restrictions was enacted around the world. Read more

** South Korea reported 4,944 new coronavirus cases for Thursday, less than the record 5,266 cases reported a day earlier, but it has stepped up distancing measures after six cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed until ‘now. Read more

** Meanwhile, Parliament approved increasing next year’s budget from net 3.3 trillion won to 607.7 trillion won ($ 516.42 billion) to support a faster economic recovery and help those affected by the pandemic. Read more

** The US payroll report due later on Friday is being closely watched by investors around the world as it could pave the way for earlier interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Read more

** On the main draw, foreigners were net sellers of 29.9 billion won ($ 25.36 million) of stocks.

** The won was listed at 1,178.7 to the dollar on the onshore settlement platform, down 0.24% from its previous close.

** In offshore trading, the won was listed at 1,178.9, while in undeliverable futures trading, its one-month contract was listed at 1,179.4.

** In money and debt markets, December three-year Treasury bond futures fell 0.07 points to 108.94.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean Treasury bond yield rose 4.3 basis points to 1.878%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose 0.1 basis point to 2.195%.

($ 1 = 1,179.0000 won)

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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