May 4, 2020 / 7:51 AM / a month ago

S.Korean shares tumble on U.S.-China tensions, grim economic data

* KOSPI falls, foreigners sell

* Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, May 4 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares dropped the most in a month on Monday as rising U.S.-China tensions weighed on sentiment, while grim domestic economic data underscored the damage wrought by the coronavirus outbreak. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI closed down 52.19 points, or 2.68%, at 1,895.37, marking the biggest fall since April 1. The index has declined 13.76% so far this year.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 914.1 billion won ($745.29 million) worth of shares on the main board, the highest volume in nearly seven weeks.

** U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory.

** South Korea’s factories were ravaged by the pandemic in April, as worldwide lockdowns sent activity tumbling at its sharpest pace since the global financial crisis.

** The crisis also sent South Korean exports plunging in April at their sharpest pace since the global financial crisis, signalling a bleak outlook for international trade as the pandemic paralyses the world economy and shatters demand. ** South Korea, which reported eight new coronavirus cases on Monday, will further relax social distancing rules from May 6, allowing a phased re-opening of businesses, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Sunday. ** South Korean financial markets will be closed on Tuesday for Children’s Day holiday. Markets will reopen on Wednesday. ** Stock prices fell on worries over U.S.-China tensions, while sentiment also weakened due to the grim outlook for the country’s exports in the second quarter, said Na Jeong-hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities.

** The won closed trading at 1,229.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.89% lower than its previous close at 1,218.2.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,227.2 per dollar, down 0.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,226.5.

** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 1,133.13 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 316.

** The won has lost 5.9% against the dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.10 point to 111.74.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 3.0 basis points to 0.975%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 1.5 basis points to 1.501%. ($1 = 1,226.5100 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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