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S.Korea stocks skid over 1% as Trump remarks stoke trade worries

* KOSPI index falls 1.2%, foreigners net sellers * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, July 17 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares fell over 1% on Wednesday as investors fretted about U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments on trade deal with China. The won and the benchmark bond yield declined. ** Trump said on Tuesday the United States still has a long way to go to conclude a trade deal with China but could impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese goods if it needed to do so. ** China rebuffed a suggestion from Trump that Beijing needs a trade deal with the United States because its economy is slowing, saying this was “totally misleading” and that both countries wanted an agreement. ** Trump’s comments dampened investor sentiment, after putting downside pressure on Wall Street and pulling down shares of Micron Technology by 3%, said Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities. Micron’s fall also hit shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix , he added. ** Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were down nearly 2% each. ** Shares of South Korean companies exposed to North Korea dropped after Pyongyang raised an issue regarding joint military drills between Seoul and Washington. ** As of 0139 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index fell 24.39 points, or 1.17%, to 2,067.48 points, hitting the lowest intraday level in a week. ** South Korea’s central bank will likely keep its policy interest rate steady on Thursday, but cut next month as economic growth falters in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 21.3 billion won ($18.04 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,180.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.26% lower than its previous close at 1,177.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,180.7 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,179.6 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.25%, after U.S. stocks slipped . Japanese stocks fell 0.65%. ** The KOSPI has risen 1.14% so far this year, and gained 1.2% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28% and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won. ** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 256.28 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 889, the number of advancing shares was 109. ** The won has lost 5.5% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 points to 110.56, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.78%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.1 basis points to 1.420%, while the benchmark 10-year yield declined by 1.0 basis point to 1.564%. ($1 = 1,180.7200 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Yuna Park; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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