Seoul: Stocks slip ahead of Fed rate decision; trade woes resurface

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares dropped on Wednesday as investors cautiously awaited cues from the US Federal Reserve’s rate decision, amid worries about a possible delay in US-China trade deal. Both the South Korean won and the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Seoul stock market’s main Kospi ended down 12.42 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 2,080.27.

An interim trade agreement between the United States and China might not be completed in time for signing next month as expected but that does not mean the accord is falling apart, a US administration official said on Tuesday.

The Fed is expected to deliver a rate cut, but markets were looking to the Fed’s stance on its policy outlook.

Shares of Amorepacific Corp, South Korea’s top cosmetics maker, rallied after posting its operating profit up 41 per cent to 108 billion won in July-September period.

Foreigners were net sellers of 26.0 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,168.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.44 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,163.0.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,168.0 per US dollar, flat from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,166.7 per dollar.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.32 per cent, after US stocks closed lower . Japanese stocks fell 0.57 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 1.92 per cent so far this year, and gained 2.1 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 410.99 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 901, the number of advancing shares was 263.

The won has lost 4.5 per cent against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 110.07, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.44 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.6 basis points to 1.485 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 2.1 basis points to 1.762 per cent.

REUTERS