* KOSPI index slides, foreigners net sellers
* Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares dropped on Thursday as Seoul and Tokyo wrangled over export restrictions ahead of Japan’s decision on whether to remove the export-dependent economy from easy-trade list. The Korean won fell, while the benchmark bond yield rose.
** Japan’s planned revision of a law to take South Korea off its so-called “white list” comes amid a deepening row over compensation for wartime forced labour and after Japan tightened curbs this month on exports to South Korea of high-tech materials used for making memory chips and display panels.
** South Korea’s foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha warned that if Japan removes South Korea from its list of countries with minimum trade restrictions, Seoul would have to review bilateral security cooperation.
** Relations between Japan and South Korea are arguably at their lowest since they normalised ties in 1965, with a spiralling diplomatic and trade row threatening to disrupt the global supply of semiconductors and undercut security cooperation on North Korea.
** Kang asked her Japanese counterpart to keep the country on a “white list” of countries that enjoy minimum trade restrictions, Japan’s Kyodo News reported. ** Investors hold lean hopes of a positive negotiation between South Korea and Japan, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities. The KOSPI index has been affected by remarks of diplomatic officials, he added.
** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index ended down 7.22 points or 0.36% at 2,017.33 points. Earlier in the session, the index extended losses to hit its lowest since Jan. 4.
** South Korea’s factory activity contracted further in July as new export orders shrank the most in nearly six years, a private survey showed.
** South Korea’s exports tumbled for an eighth straight month in July, with persistently weak global demand and an escalating dispute with Japan painting an increasingly gloomy picture for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
** Shares of SM Entertainment plunge 8% after South Korea’s biggest talent agency disappointed investors in its response to a shareholder’s open letter.
** Foreigners were net sellers of 4.9 billion won ($4.12 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,188.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.45% lower than its previous close at 1,183.1.
** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,188.6 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,186.5 per dollar.
** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.86%, after U.S. stocks declined. Japanese stocks rose 0.09%.
** The KOSPI dropped 1.16% so far this year, and lost 4.7% 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 in the KOSPI index was 455.44 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 891, the number of advancing shares was 252.
** The won lost 6.1% against the U.S dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds dipped 0.09 points to 110.81, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.50%.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.8 basis points to 1.302%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.6 basis points to 1.397%. ($1 = 1,188.4000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)