Views Article – Sharenet Wealth

Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks shed gains as rate cut fails to impress; won dips

* The Bank of Korea surprises with rate cut * KOSPI index drops, foreigners net buyers * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, July 18 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares shed early gains to trade lower on Thursday after the central bank unexpectedly cut the benchmark rate, while investors did not expect a long-term stimulus from the rate cut. The Korean won and benchmark bond yield dropped. ** The Bank of Korea unexpectedly cut its policy interest rate for the first time in three years, as a trade dispute with Japan among other pressures heightened risks for the already slowing economy. The bank announced its Monetary Policy Board voted to cut the base rate by 25 basis points to 1.50%. ** The KOSPI briefly turned higher, but erased its gains as the cut was considered as a short-term factor to improve investor sentiment, amid worries over economic slowdown and corporate earnings, said Lee Won, analyst, Bookook Securities. ** A rate cut is usually viewed as a positive factor for markets, but the KOSPI index weakened further as the central bank cut the rates in a hurry on slowdown concerns, said Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities. ** As of 0215 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI was down 8.27 points or 0.40% at 2,064.65 points. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 17.5 billion won ($14.81 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,182.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.13% lower than its previous close at 1,181.3. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,181.7 per U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,180.4 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.24%, after U.S. stocks closed weaker. Japanese stocks fell 1.26%. ** The KOSPI climbed 1.28% so far this year, and gained 0.3% 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 in the KOSPI index was 180.96 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 370. ** The won slipped 5.7% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.07 points to 110.67, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.73%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield dropped by 3.7 basis points to 1.362%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 4.7 basis points to 1.501%. ($1 = 1,181.2600 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi and Yuna Park, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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