Seoul’s Stock Market Dips on Disappointing Government ‘Value-Up’ ProgramSouth Korean Bond Yields Decline Across Various Maturities

SEOUL — South Korean stocks ended lower on Monday, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) falling 20.62 points or 0.77 percent to 2,647.08, snapping a two-day winning streak amid investor dissatisfaction with the government's plans to enhance corporate value, which were deemed insufficient. The Korean won also experienced a slight decline against the U.S. dollar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the downturn was largely attributed to the government's 'value-up' program, which failed to meet investor expectations due to a lack of detailed plans. Earlier in the day, financial authorities had outlined broad guidelines aimed at encouraging companies to voluntarily increase their value through "bold incentives," including various tax benefits.

The trading volume was notably high, with 519.6 million shares changing hands, valued at approximately 10.8 trillion won (US$8.1 billion). The market saw a significant number of decliners, with 657 stocks falling compared to 231 gainers. Institutional and individual investors led the selling, offloading a net 86.4 billion won and 47.5 billion won worth of shares, respectively. This selling was partially offset by foreigners, who made net purchases totaling 114.1 billion won.

Financial stocks were among the hardest hit, with Hana Financial Group and KB Financial Group experiencing significant losses, closing down 5.94 percent and 5.02 percent, respectively. Other notable declines were seen in Hanwha Life Insurance and Hyundai Fire and Marine Insurance, with drops of 9.6 percent and 7.07 percent. Retail sectors also faced downturns, with Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae reporting losses.

The automotive sector was not spared, with Hyundai Motor and Kia experiencing declines of 2.05 percent and 3.21 percent, respectively. The Korean won closed at 1,331.1 won against the dollar, a slight decrease from the previous session. In the bond market, prices rose, with yields on three-year Treasuries and the benchmark five-year government bonds falling to 3.340 percent and 3.379 percent, respectively.

SEOUL — South Korean bond yields witnessed a decline in a range of maturities on February 26, 2024, reflecting changes in investor sentiment and market conditions. The yield on one-year treasury bills fell by 1.7 basis points to 3.477 percent, while two-year treasury bills saw a decrease of 2.2 basis points, closing at 3.428 percent.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the yield on three-year treasury bills also dropped by 3.4 basis points to 3.340 percent, and the ten-year treasury bills experienced a more significant reduction of 6.6 basis points, ending at 3.402 percent. Similarly, two-year monetary stabilization bonds (MSB) decreased by 3.4 basis points to 3.414 percent, and three-year corporate bonds rated AA- went down by 4.0 basis points to 4.005 percent. The yield on 91-day certificates of deposit remained unchanged at 3.700 percent.

These movements indicate a general trend of falling yields across various bond maturities in South Korea, providing insights into the current financial market dynamics and investor expectations.

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