July 19, 2019 / 1:59 AM / 5 months ago

S.Korea stocks gain nearly 1% as Fed reinforces rate-cut bets

    * KOSPI index picks up, foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield remains unchanged

    SEOUL, July 19 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
South Korean shares rose nearly 1% on Friday after a top Federal
Reserve official's comment cemented rate-cut expectations, while
chipmakers gained on robust outlook by Taiwan's TSMC          .
The Korean won gained, while benchmark bond yield was steady.
** Policymakers need to add stimulus early to deal with too-low
inflation when interest rates are near zero and cannot wait for
economic disaster to unfold, New York Fed President John
Williams said on Thursday.             
** The comments by Williams made it a virtual certainty the Fed
would opt to cut interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at its
July 30-31 policy meeting and also fuelled expectations of an
even deeper 50 bp reduction.    
** Taiwan's TSMC forecast that robust demand for 5G chips will
drive a stronger second-half even as it anticipates a dispute
between Japan and South Korea involving chip-making materials to
be a big source of uncertainty.             
** Such news could improve investor sentiment over the country's
chip industry and positively affect its financial market, said
Seo Sang-young, analyst, Kiwoom Securities. 
** Shares of Samsung Electronics             and SK Hynix
            added 1.5% and 1.7%, respectively, triggering a 1.4%
gain in the electric sub-index        . 
** As of 0149 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI index
        was up 19.20 points or 0.93% at 2,085.75 points. 
** Tensions remained high between South Korea and Japan. South
Korea's Trade Ministry urged Japan to accept its request for
another round of talks over Tokyo's tighter export controls,
which are seen threatening global microchip and smartphone
display supply chains.             
** Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to summon South
Korea's ambassador on Friday in a deepening row over
compensation for Korean forced labourers in the World War II
ear, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.             
** Foreigners were net buyers of 47.2 billion won ($40.24
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,174.0 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.41% higher than its previous
close at 1,178.8.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,173.1 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous session, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,171.3 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.68%, after U.S. stocks climbed.
Japanese stocks         rose 1.41%.            
** The KOSPI climbed 1.83% so far this year, but lost 0.1% 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 on the KOSPI index
        was 148.25 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 536.
** The won lost 5% against the U.S dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.05 points to 110.79, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.61%.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.1
basis points to 1.341%, while the benchmark 10-year yield was
flat at 1.470%.

($1 = 1,172.8200 won)    

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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