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Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks drop amid trade jitters, markets brace for Fed rate cut

* KOSPI index falls over 1%, foreigners net sellers * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, July 29 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: South Korean shares shed 1.5% on Monday, as investors wore a cautious stance ahead of a likely interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, while expectations were low for headway in a Sino-U.S. trade dispute as negotiators were set to meet this week. The Korean won rose, while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** As of 0200 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI was down 31.36 points or 1.52% at 2,034.90 points. ** The U.S. Fed is broadly expected to cut its benchmark rate by a quarter point at its July 30-31 meeting. ** Meanwhile, U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators also meet in Shanghai this week for their first in-person talks since a G20 truce last month, but expectations are low for a breakthrough. ** U.S. President Donald Trump put pressure on the World Trade Organization on Friday to change how it designates developing countries, singling out China for unfairly getting preferential treatment. ** The Fed will cut the rates, but uncertainties after the cut remain high, said Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities. South Korea’s chipmakers are dropping as investors locked in profits, he added. ** Shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix dived 1.9% and 2.6%, respectively. So far this month, SK Hynix shares were up 11.80%, compared with a 4.39% drop in the broader market . ** Foreigners were net sellers of 36.4 billion won ($30.82 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,181.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.27% higher than its previous close at 1,184.8. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,180.7 per U.S. dollar, up 0.2% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,178.9 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.13%, after U.S. stocks jumped. Japanese stocks dropped 0.44%. ** The KOSPI down 0.21% so far this year, but lost 1.4% 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 238.65 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 891, the number of advancing shares was 77. ** The won lost 5.6% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds dipped 0.01 points to 110.82, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.4 basis points to 1.304%, while the benchmark 10-year yield dropped by 1.1 basis points to 1.413%. ($1 = 1,181.0000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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