March 23, 2020 / 3:49 AM / 12 days ago

RPT-S.Korea shares drop over 5% on global recession fears, sidecars triggered

(Repeats to additional subscribers)

* KOSPI falls, triggering sidecar limits

* Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, March 23 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares plunged more than 5% on Monday, triggering sidecars on the main indexes, as investors sold riskier assets on worsening fears of a coronavirus-triggered global recession.

** The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The Seoul stock market’s benchmark KOSPI index fell as much as 6.9%, before trimming some losses to trade 73.93 points, or 4.72%, lower at 1,491.74 by 0216 GMT.

** The Korea Exchange said sidecar limits were triggered on the benchmark index and the junior KOSDAQ index to halt programme trading for 5 minutes.

** The country on Monday reported 64 new virus infections, bringing the national tally to 8,961. More than 305,000 people have been infected globally and more than 13,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

** South Korean exports rose in the March 1-20 period year-on-year as worldwide lockdowns fuelled demand for teleconferencing technology and components. However, overseas shipments are expected to worsen going forward.

** Increased restriction movements across the United States due to the fast-spreading epidemic, along with failure of the Senate to pass a stimulus package bill led to weakened investor sentiment, said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

** A $1 trillion-plus virus response bill from the U.S. failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-member chamber, but talks continued over Democrats’ demands for more funding for medical care and state and local efforts to combat the pandemic.

** The South Korean government will make an all-out effort to prevent market volatility from turning into a credit crunch, the vice finance minister said.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 261.2 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,276.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 2.33% lower than its previous close at 1,246.5.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,275.6 per dollar, down 1.7% from the previous day. In non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,271.5.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.17 points to 110.79.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 6.3 basis points to 1.168% in early trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 10.9 basis points to 1.722%. (Reportng by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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