Foreign investors have sold a large sum of stocks in South Korea and other emerging markets largely due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Thursday.
Offshore investors sold a net $5.8 billion worth of South Korean stocks in the first two weeks of March, according to data by brokerage Yuanta Securities Co.
In comparison, foreign investors sold a net $6.7 billion worth of Taiwanese stocks during the cited period, followed by Indian stocks worth $3.8 billion and Brazilian stocks worth $3.2 billion.
India was the only emerging economy with foreign net buying last month.
Foreigners also offloaded $1.3 billion worth of Thai stocks and $213 million worth of Indonesian shares.
Rising uncertainties, triggered by the globally spreading COVID-19, led to an increasing amount of cash exiting from the emerging economies. On Wednesday (local time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average again crashed 6.3 percent, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ plummeted 4.7 percent.
South Korea and Taiwan, which are heavily dependent on exports among the emerging markets, were hit the hardest by the new coronavirus scare, according to the brokerage data.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 3.28 percent to 1,538.94 as of 9:56 a.m. Both the KOSPI and the Korean won closed at 10-year lows in the previous session.
Analysts here said market uncertainties in the emerging countries may increase and further pull down the stock indices until COVID-19 infections in the United States, Europe and the Middle East show a significant drop. (Yonhap)