October 4, 2018 / 7:35 AM / 2 months ago

S.Korean stocks fall most in 2 mths as U.S. Treasury yields soar; won falls nearly 1 pct

* KOSPI index falls, foreigners sell

* Korean won tumbles versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea bond yields up

* For the midday report, please click

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

** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index closed lower on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields hit multi-year highs after strong U.S. jobs data. The Korean won shed around 1 percent against U.S. dollar to its weakest in more than two weeks after bullish remarks on U.S. interest rates from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday. South Korean bond yields rose after central bank chief highlighted financial imbalance.

** Dollar strengthened against major currencies; Federal Reserve may raise interest rates above an estimated “neutral” setting as the “remarkably positive” U.S. economy continues to grow, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday.

** South Korean central bank chief Lee Ju-yeol said policies need to ease financial imbalances, highlighting household debt. The country’s three-year treasury bond KTBc1 futures closed down 0.15 points, while yield of three-year treasury bond hovered about two-month high.

** South Korean finance minister Kim Dong-yeon said he doesn’t see South Korea earning the currency manipulator label by U.S. Treasury in the next currency report.

** At 06:32 GMT, the KOSPI was down 35.08 points or 1.52 percent at 2,274.49, hurt by U.S. Treasury yields hitting multi-year highs and escalating China-U.S. trade tensions.

** South Korean chemical shares dropped on soaring oil prices, with LG Chem and Lotte Chemical ending more than 6 percent lower.

** South Korea’s steelmakers tumbled on escalating U.S.-China trade tensions after a report said that China totally stopped U.S. crude oil shipments. The country’s top steelmaker Posco led the sector’s loss by 6.6 percent.

** Shares of Hyundai Motor Group tumbled as auto sales are expected to weaken further in China and the United States. Hyundai Motor ended 3.1 percent down, while Hyundai Mobis and Kia Motors fell 3.9 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.

** South Korean cosmetic firms including Amorepacific Group and Cosmax plunged 14.6 percent and 7.7 percent each on weak sentiment about Chinese buyers. Firms engaged in duty free business also closed down; Shinsegae Inc , down 12.7 percent, led the fall. ** The won was quoted at 1,129.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.95 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,119.2, marking its biggest daily loss since Sep 17. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,129.67 per U.S. dollar, down 0.46 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,112.95 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.69 percent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.56 percent. ** The KOSPI is down around 6.4 percent so far this year, and down by 3.07 percent in the previous 30 days. ** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won. ** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 304,576,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 898, the number of advancing shares was 256. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 525,818 million won worth of shares. ** The U.S dollar has risen 5.94 percent against the won this year. The won’s high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 2018 and low is 1,140.4 on July 19 2018. ** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.18 points to 108.17. ** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.071 percent, higher than the previous day’s 2.01 percent. (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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