Seoul shares to retreat as Fed minutes show policy divide
SEOUL, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to retreat on Thursday after rising the most in five months over the previous session, as minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting sparked concerns about sustainability of its stimulus momentary policy. The minutes from the Fed's January meeting showed many officials worrying over the potential cost of more asset purchases, suggesting that the central bank may slow down its buying or even stop, sooner than expected. "It is not that the Fed decided to end its 'quantitative easing', but that there was a debate over the policy. But this served as an excuse for U.S. investors to take profits after recent Wall Street rallies," said Cho Byeong-hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities. "Korean stock markets will not fall much because of lower valuations and as currency concerns have subsided," he said. Foreign investors are returning to the local stock markets this month after they dumped a net 1.9 trillion Korean won ($1.76 billion) of stock on the main bourse in January as the weaker yen and stronger won dimmed the prospects of South Korean exporters. But the won may have some room to weaken against the dollar with president-elect Park Geun-hye on Wednesday emphasising the need to ensure the stability of the local currency. Expectations that the incoming president, set to be inaugurated on Monday, would introduce economic stimulus measures also support the stock markets, analysts said. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended up 1.95 percent at 2,024.64 points on Wednesday, its highest closing price since Jan.2 and marking its biggest daily percentage gain since Sept. 14. Foreign investors snapped up stocks worth a net 568.9 billion won ($526 million) on the main bourse, the largest volume since Sept.14, according to revised data from the Korea Exchange. ------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 22:28 GMT------------------- ---STOCKS TO WATCH--- **HYUNDAI ELEVATOR ** The unit of Hyundai Group said on Wednesdays that it plans to issue new common stock worth 110.9 billion Korean won ($103 million) at a 69,300 won per share for operational funds. ($1 = 1078.3500 Korean won) (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Eric Meijer)
- White House reverses, says Obama met uncle and lived with him during law school
- South Africans, some fearful, wake to life without Mandela |
- U.S. television, Twitter, alive with new version of 'Sound of Music'
- Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image
- RPT-UPDATE 1-Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image