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S.Korean stocks drop on fresh trade war concerns, bleak earnings

* KOSPI index loses 5% for month, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, July 31 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares ended lower on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump escalated trade tensions with China, while Japan’s export curbs added to worries over bleak corporate earnings. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield fell.

** In earlier trade, the benchmark index dropped as low as 2010.95, marking its lowest intraday level since early January.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index ended down 14.13 points or 0.69% at 2,024.55. For the month, the index fell almost 5%.

** Some bargain hunting by investors helped recoup part of the earlier losses, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities. Sentiment has been dampened broadly, with low expectations of corporate earnings, he added.

** 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 Co Ltd fell 2.6% after it posted a sharp drop in quarterly profit, hit by declines in semiconductor prices amid oversupply. The global chip leader said Tokyo’s export curbs would blur its outlook.

** Shares of LG Display Co Ltd closed around record lows after the flat screen maker said it would issue $687.8 million worth of convertible bonds.

** Shares of AmorePacific Corp hit over five-year lows, after the cosmetics company said its second-quarter operating profit fell nearly 40% from a year ago. ** Shares of South Korean snack makers bucked the trend, as investors bet sales would grow with local customers staying away from Japanese products. Confectionery giant CrownHaitai Holdings Co Ltd surged.

** Shares of Samsung SDI Co Ltd gained 5% after the battery maker posted a solid second-quarter operating profit, with analysts expecting its battery business to grow.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 49.2 billion won ($41.59 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,183.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.13% lower than its previous close at 1,181.6.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,183.2 per U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,182.1 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.67%, after U.S. stocks closed lower. Japanese stocks fell 0.86%.

** The KOSPI has fallen 0.81% so far this year, but 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 577.91 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 465.

** The won has lost 5.7% 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 1.51%.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 1.299%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.7 basis point to 1.399%. ($1 = 1,182.9600 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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