South Korean stocks, won fall on U.S. political uncertainties

Madiha Shakeel December 24, 2018

SEOUL: Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index and the currency won weakened on Monday as investors remained cautious over the political instability in the United States. While the Korean won fell, bond yields rose.

** U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget director and chief of staff on Sunday said the partial U.S. government shutdown could continue to Jan. 3, when the new Congress convenes and Democrats take over the House of Representatives.

** Amid talks between the U.S. and China to make new progress in trade issue, China announced on Monday adjustments to some import and export tariffs for 2019, removing import duties on alternatives to soymeal for animal feeds and tariffs on fertilisers and iron ore exports, to boost foreign trade as the economy slows.

** At 06:30 GMT, the KOSPI was down 6.48 points or 0.31 percent at 2,055.01.

** The won was quoted at 1,125.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.25 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,122.4.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,124.7 per U.S. dollar, up 0.3 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,105.8 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.31 percent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with losses, while Japanese stocks were closed on Monday.

** The KOSPI is down around 16.5 percent so far this year, and down by 1.18 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 280,638,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 894, the number of advancing shares was 285.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 6,576 million won worth of shares.

** The U.S dollar has risen 5.47 percent against the won this year. The won’s high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 2018 and low is 1,146.26 on October 11 2018.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 points to 109.15.

** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.9 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.841 percent, higher than the previous day’s 1.84 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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