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Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks rebound as Fed comes into focus

* KOSPI index climbs, foreigners net buyers * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises SEOUL, July 30 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares on Tuesday rebounded from a sharp decline in the previous session, but sentiment remained fragile amid Japan’s export curbs and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield gained. ** The U.S. Fed will begin a two-day policy meeting later in the day, at which it is widely expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points. If implemented, it would be the central bank’s first rate cut in a decade. ** External downside risks persist including Japan’s export curbs that would strain the markets throughout this week, said Lee Won, analyst, Bookook Securities. If the Fed signals more cuts, it may prompt worries over the U.S. economy that could add pressure on financial markets, he noted. ** Japan is preparing for cabinet approval as early as Friday to remove South Korea from the so-called white list status with minimum trade restrictions, Kyodo news agency reported last week. ** Shares of Dual Industrial tumbled nearly 30% after the auto parts maker dropped its bid to buy stake in SG BKGroup, owner of South Korea’s leading virtual currency exchange Bithumb. ** As of 0211 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index was up 9.06 points or 0.45% at 2,038.54 points. ** South Korean shares shed nearly 2% on Monday as tensions with Japan added more pressure on the export-dependent economy, which has been already reeling from weak global demand. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 83.7 billion won ($70.81 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,182.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.07% higher than its previous close at 1,183.5. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,182.5 per U.S. dollar, unchanged from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,180.8 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.29%, after U.S. stocks stepped back from last week’s record highs. Japanese stocks rose 0.67%. ** The KOSPI dropped 0.22% so far this year, and lost 2.9% 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 296.62 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 889, the number of advancing shares was 560. ** The won lost 5.7% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 110.83, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7 basis points to 1.312%, while the benchmark 10-year yield climbed by 1.4 basis points to 1.422%. ($1 = 1,182.1000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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