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Seoul: Stocks rise as US rate-cut views remain solid


[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose on Friday after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell again hinted at an interest rate cut later this month, while investors focus shifted to second-quarter corporate earnings. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

Mr Powell indicated again on Thursday that an interest rate cut from the US central bank was likely at its next meeting later this month as businesses slow investment due to trade disputes and a global growth slowdown. Uncertainties around the US rate cut have eased, lifting South Korean shares for a third consecutive session, said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment. Investors will focus on corporate earnings from next week, he added.

China's yuan-denominated exports rose 6.1 per cent in the first half of this year from the same period a year earlier, while imports increased 1.4 per cent, customs data showed after market hours on Friday.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi index ended up 6.08 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 2,086.66 points. It fell 1.1 per cent this week.

Shares of SKC Kolon PI closed up 10.3 per cent after the company's top shareholders, SKC and Kolon Industries, said they were considering selling their stakes in their joint venture. Foreigners were net buyers of 3.1 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

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The won was quoted at 1,179.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.48 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,173.5. On a weekly basis, the currency lost 0.7 per cent.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,178.8 per US dollar, down 0.4 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,177.0 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.01 per cent, after US stocks gained. Japanese stocks rose 0.20 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 2.24 per cent so far this year, and gained 2.8 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 398.35 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 460.

The won has lost 5.4 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 point to 110.51, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.78 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.0 basis point to 1.429 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.7 basis points to 1.574 per cent. 


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