The Business Times

Seoul: Stocks jump after Brexit deal changes; won gains

Published Tue, Mar 12, 2019 · 08:46 AM
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[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose nearly 1 per cent on Tuesday, in line with broader Asian markets after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the British Parliament later in the day. The won strengthened, while the benchmark bond fell.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday he agreed an updated Brexit deal with British Prime Minister Theresa May to make the agreement more palatable to UK lawmakers but warned they would not get a third chance to endorse it.

The benchmark Kospi index ended 19.08 points, or 0.89 per cent, higher at 2,157.18 points, in its biggest daily gain since Feb. 20.

Shares in major liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributors rose after local media reported that the government and the ruling party agreed to entirely scrap regulations on LPG-fuelled vehicles. SK Gas Ltd and E1 Corp closed up 3.8 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively.

YG Entertainment Inc, one of South Korea's three major K-pop talent agencies, closed lower for a second straight session, down 3.4 per cent, after a member of K-pop band Big Bang said he would leave the entertainment industry after his alleged sex bribery case swept the country. Other major agencies SM Entertainment Co Ltd and JYP Entertainment Corp dropped 3.7 per cent and 4.0 per cent, respectively.

Foreigners were net buyers of 0.9 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,129.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.35 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,133.7, extending its gain into a second session.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,129.5 per US dollar, up 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,127.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.87 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 1.79 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 5.69 per cent so far this year, and rose 1.0 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

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

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 345.71 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 590.

The won has lost 1.2 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 109.24, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.89 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.5 basis point to 1.815 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.3 basis points to 1.998 per cent.


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