March 18, 2019 / 2:07 AM / 3 months ago

S.Korea stocks tread water ahead of Fed meeting

    * KOSPI index flat, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield up

    SEOUL, March 18 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
    
** South Korea's KOSPI stock index         barely moved on
Monday as weaker-than-forecast U.S. economic data cemented
investors' expectations the Federal Reserve could strike a
dovish stance this week. The Korean won and bond yield rose.
     
** As of 0159 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI was down
1.66 points or 0.08 percent at 2,174.45 points.
    
** The FOMC meeting ending Wednesday will be the key event this
week, but fresh news regarding Brexit could steal the spotlight
at any time. The Fed is expected to remain on hold and maintain
their patient tone.             
    
** That Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his
colleagues will leave the Fed's benchmark overnight interest
rate unchanged in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent and
stick to their pledge of a "patient" approach to monetary policy
is effectively a given.             
    
** Foreigners were net sellers of 22.5 billion won worth of
shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,135.2 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.18 percent higher than its
previous close at 1,137.3.
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,135.6 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.1 percent from the previous day, while in
one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,134.2 per dollar.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.20 percent, after U.S. stocks rose on
Friday led by technology shares            . Japanese stocks
        rose 0.35 percent.
    
** The KOSPI climbed 6.62 percent so far this year, and dipped
0.1 percent in the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend
yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04
trillion won.
    
** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index
        was 98.86 million shares and, of the total traded issues
of 891, the number of advancing shares was 496.
    
** The won slipped 1.7 percent against the U.S dollar this year.
    
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         dipped 0.01 points to 109.18, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 percent.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield climbed by
0.2 basis points to 1.806 percent, while the benchmark 10-year
yield rose by 0.2 basis points to 1.990 percent.

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