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Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks shed more than 1% on trade worries, weak earnings

* KOSPI index hits lowest since Jan. 4, foreigners net sellers * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls SEOUL, July 31 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares fell more than 1% on Wednesday, hitting the lowest since early January, as U.S. President Donald Trump rekindled threats against China, while quarterly results of Samsung Electronics added to concerns over weak corporate earnings. The Korean won weakened and the benchmark bond yield fell. ** President Trump on Tuesday warned China against waiting out his first term to finalise any trade deal, saying if he wins the re-election in the November 2020 U.S. presidential contest, the outcome will be worse for China. ** Shares of Samsung Electronics fell more than 3% after it posted a 56% drop in quarterly profit, hit by declines in semiconductor prices amid oversupply. The global chip leader expected the chip market to bottom out and start to recover in the second half. ** Shares of LG Display hit record lows after the flat screen maker said it will issue $687.8 million worth of convertible bonds. ** As of 0224 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index fell 25.46 points or 1.25% to 2,013.22. For the month, the benchmark index is set to contract more than 5%. ** South Korean shares have underperformed global peers without clear events, said Kim Hak-kyun, chief of Shinyoung Securities’ research centre. Amid a protracted slowdown of the stock market, investors are seeking foreign investment, undermining the market’s fundamentals of supply and demand, he added. ** Later in the day, the U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis more than a decade ago. The expected easing has supported risk asset prices worldwide. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 144.9 billion won ($122.61 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,182.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.05% lower than its previous close at 1,181.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,181.9 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,180.2 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.66%, after U.S. stocks closed lower. Japanese stocks fell 1.03%. ** The KOSPI has fallen 1.37% so far this year, and lost 2.9% 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 333.78 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 890, the number of advancing shares was 198. ** The won has lost 5.6% against the U.S. dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 to 110.89 points, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.52%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.2 basis points to 1.296%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.1 basis points to 1.395%. ($1 = 1,181.8100 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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