South Korean stocks follow Wall Street rally; US inflation at the center of concerns

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  • The KOSPI rises, net foreign buyers
  • The Korean won strengthens against the US dollar
  • South Korea benchmark bond yield drops

SEOUL, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Overview of South Korea’s financial markets:

**South Korean stocks rose on Wednesday as an overnight tech rally on Wall Street boosted risk appetite, while investors remained cautious ahead of US inflation data. The Korean won strengthened as benchmark bond yields fell.

** As of 01:42 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) rose 22.97 points, or 0.84%, to 2,769.44.

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**Among the heavyweights, tech giant Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) rose 1.22% and peer SK Hynix (000660.KS) rose 1.60%, while LG Chem (051910 .KS) added 0.49%.

** Wall Street ended sharply higher on Tuesday, led by Apple and Microsoft, while the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield hit its highest level since November 2019 ahead of a key inflation reading and expectations for Fed tightening.

** U.S. inflation data, due out Thursday, is seen as crucial to the Federal Reserve’s cut schedule, with markets now pricing a one in three chance the central bank could raise interest rates. 50 basis points in March.

** Meanwhile, South Korea has reported a record 49,567 daily new COVID-19 cases as the Omicron variant drives a surge in infections, the government said on Wednesday, but new deaths remain low at 21 . read more

** Foreigners were net buyers of 115.3 billion won ($96.45 million) of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,195.1 to the dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.22% higher than its previous close.

** In offshore trade, the won was quoted at 1,195.4 to the dollar, up 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable futures trade, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,195.5.

** In money and debt markets, March three-year Treasury bill futures rose 0.09 points to 107.62.

** The most liquid Korean 3-year treasury yield fell 1.5 basis points to 2.288%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 3.9 basis points to 2.695%.

($1 = 1,195.4600 won)

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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