South Korean stocks little changed; monetary policy events in focus

South Korean stocks little changed; monetary policy events in focus
South Korean stocks little changed; monetary policy events in focus

South Korean Financial Markets Review:

** South Korean stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with the focus on monetary policy developments at home and abroad. The won weakened, while benchmark bond yields rose.

** The benchmark KOSPI was down slightly, 2.33 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,865.05 at 0108 GMT.

** The United States is no longer an overheated economy with a jobs market that has cooled from pandemic-era extremes, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday, in remarks to Congress that suggest the case for cutting interest rates is growing stronger.

** Mr. Powell’s biannual appearance before the Senate will be followed by a hearing in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

** The Bank of Korea will hold a rate-setting meeting on Thursday, when the central bank is expected to hold its key interest rate for a 12th consecutive meeting.

** Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong said Tuesday that one of the main topics of discussion Thursday would be the impact that preemptive rate cuts would have on the won.

** Chipmaker Samsung Electronics rose 0.11%, even though its union decided to strike indefinitely. Peer SK Hynix fell 0.63%.

** Among other heavyweights on the index, battery makers and automakers fell, but search engine Naver rose 2.23% and biopharmaceutical company Samsung Biologics rose 0.25%.

** Hanwha Aerospace rose 4.17 percent to a record high after receiving a 1.38 trillion won ($1 billion) order from Romania to supply self-propelled howitzers.

** Foreigners were net buyers of stocks worth 100.3 billion won.

** The won was quoted at 1,385.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.15 percent lower than its previous close of 1,383.5.

** The yield on the most liquid three-year Korean Treasury bond fell 0.6 basis points to 3.116%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose 1.4 basis points to 3.199%. (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Writing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)

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