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Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks tread water ahead of Q2 earnings, growth data

* KOSPI index flat, foreigners net buyers * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises SEOUL, July 22 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares were trading steady on Monday as investors kept a cautious stance ahead of corporate earnings season and second-quarter growth data due this week, while the country’s weak export numbers dented sentiment. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose. ** South Korea’s exports for the first 20 days of this month fell a sharp 13.6% from a year earlier, customs data showed, led by poor semiconductor shipments and underscoring continued weakness in global demand. ** Hyundai Motor is set to release its second-quarter results later in the day, while SK Hynix is scheduled to post its second-quarter results on Thursday. Samsung Electronics is due to announce its earnings on July 31. ** Investors are watching the country’s second-quarter GDP as worries have mounted after Japanese export curbs issue emerged, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities. South Korea’s exports from July 1 to 20 also strengthened negative views over the growth rate, he added. ** As of 0144 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index was up 1.56 points or 0.07% at 2,095.92 points. ** Shares of Samsung BioLogics rose after a local court rejected an arrest warrant for the company’s chief executive officer, who is suspected of being involved in an accounting scandal at the biotech arm of Samsung Group. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 119.0 billion won ($101.07 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,177.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.28% lower than its previous close at 1,174.5. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,177.0 per U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,176.0 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.17%, after U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday. Japanese stocks fell 0.24%. ** The KOSPI climbed 2.65% so far this year, and gained 1.1% 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 109.62 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 886, the number of advancing shares was 310. ** The won lost 5.3% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 110.76, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.59%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7 basis points to 1.332%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.2 basis points to 1.466%. ($1 = 1,177.4000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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