The Business Times

Seoul: Stocks end lower as US yields rise; Fed meeting eyed

Published Mon, Mar 15, 2021 · 03:31 PM

[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed lower on Monday, dragged by worries about rising US bond yields, with investors now eyeing the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week. The won weakened, while the Korean benchmark bond yield rose.

The Kospi closed down 8.68 points or 0.28 per cent at 3,045.71, snapping two straight sessions of gains.

But, the losses were limited by optimism around the passage of a US$1.9 trillion stimulus from the United States and better-than-expected Chinese industrial output data.

Among the heavyweights, technology giant Samsung Electronics slipped 1.21 per cent and peer SK Hynix fell 2.50 per cent. Battery maker LG Chem, however, rose 2.33 per cent.

The 10-year US Treasury yield was at 1.638 per cent in early trade on Monday. It had risen 1.642 per cent on Friday, a high last seen in February last year.

Data also showed China's factory and retail sector activity surged in the first two months of the year, beating expectations.


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"Investors traded in a limited range as they took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the scheduled US Federal Open Market Committee (meeting) later this week," said Daishin Securities' analyst Lee Kyoung-min.

Foreigners were net sellers of 210.9 billion won (S$249.8 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won ended at 1,136.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, down 0.22 per cent.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,136.8 per dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,136.5.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 2.5 basis points to 1.247 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 6.4 basis points to 2.154 per cent.


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