South Korean stocks tumble on Fed hike, 2019 rates outlook

Madiha Shakeel December 20, 2018

SEOUL: Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index weakened on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve stuck to its outlook for continued policy tightening next year, suppressing hopes that the Fed will adopt a dovish stance in the face of softening global growth. The won fell while bond yields rose.

** At 06:32 GMT, the KOSPI was down 18.72 points or 0.90 percent at 2,060.12. The benchmark index fell nearly 21 percent since its peak in January.

** South Korea’s electric and electronic sub-index dropped on worries of weak smartphone demand. SK Hynix  fell more than 3 pct to a one-and-a-half-year low, while LG Innotek slid more than 4 percent to the lowest in nearly two years.

** U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc has joined its South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix in warning about a market glut of memory chips as consumer and business demand for phones and computers is weakening.

** Shares of Kakao Corp ended down 4.6 percent as tens of thousands of South Korean taxi drivers walked off the job and held a rally on Thursday to protest against a car-pooling service Kakao Mobility, a unit of mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp, that they say would destroy their jobs and threaten their livelihoods.

** The won was quoted at 1,127.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.38 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,123.5.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,127.85 per U.S. dollar, up 0.08 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,108.75 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.25 percent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 2.84 percent.

** The KOSPI is down around 15.8 percent so far this year, and down by 0.01 percent in the previous 30 days.

** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won.

** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index  was 412,812,000 shares and, of the total 895 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 310.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 42,020 million won worth of shares.

** The U.S dollar has risen 5.77 percent against the won this year. The won’s high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and low is 1,146.26 on Oct. 11.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.05 point to 109.34.

** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.9 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.798 percent, higher than the previous day’s 1.79 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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