South Korean stocks end nearly 1pc down as chipmakers lose steam

Madiha Shakeel July 24, 2019

SEOUL: Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares closed nearly 1% lower on Wednesday, as leading chipmakers shed recent gains aided by a rise in memory chip prices amid trade tensions between Seoul and Tokyo. The Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** Trade tensions between South Korea and Japan over compensation for wartime forced laborers have shown scant signs of abating, threatening global memory chip supply chain.

** Shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix  closed down 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively, overshadowing the broader markets.

** Following Japan’s statement earlier this month that it would tighten restrictions on exports of high-tech materials, SK Hynix shares soared 13.4% this month until Tuesday’s close, while Samsung Elec had gained 0.6% during the same period, lifted by a rise in memory chip prices.

** If Japan’s export curbs are prolonged and supply glut of memory chips is resolved, South Korean chip giants are expected to suffer a setback in production, said Ha In-hwan, analyst, Meritz Securities.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index closed down 19.15 points or 0.91% at 2,082.30 points.

** Foreigners were net buyers of 46.6 billion won ($39.57 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,177.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.08% higher than its previous close at 1,178.9.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,177.6 per U.S. dollar, up 0.1% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract  was quoted at 1,175.7 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan  was up 0.08%, after U.S. stocks ended at a record high. Japanese stocks rose 0.41%.

** The KOSPI rose 2.02% so far this year, but lost 0.5% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

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

** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index  was 841.58 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 200.

** The won lost 5.3% against the U.S dollar so far this year.

** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 points to 110.79, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.57%.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 2.0 basis points to 1.320%, while the benchmark 10-year yield dropped 0.8 basis points to 1.462%.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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