November 18, 2019 / 7:39 AM / 21 days ago

S.Korean stocks pare losses on China rate cut

* KOSPI inches down, foreigners sell for 8th session

* KRW rises against USD

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed slightly lower on Monday, recouping most of their early losses after China cut a key lending rate for the first time in over four years and raised hopes of further stimulus to prop up growth. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield both rose.

** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index closed down 1.49 points, or 0.07%, to 2,160.69. Earlier in the day, it fell as much as 0.47% as foreigners continued to offload equities ahead of the rebalancing of MSCI index and cautious investors awaited concrete evidence of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks.

** Continued selloff by foreign investors and increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong outweighed news of the interest rate cut in China, according to Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 163.0 billion won worth of shares on the main board, extending the selloff to an eighth session.

** China’s central bank unexpectedly trimmed rates on seven-day reverse repurchase agreements by five basis points to 2.50% on Monday, a signal to markets that policymakers are ready to act to prop up slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

** Chinese state media Xinhua said Washington and Beijing had “constructive talks” on trade in a high-level phone call on Saturday. This comes after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Friday that there was a “very high probability” that the United States would reach a final agreement on a phase one trade deal with China.

** The Trump administration is set to issue a two-week extension of a licence allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, two sources familiar with the deliberations said.

** The won ended trading at 1,164.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.18% higher than its previous close at 1,166.6.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,163.3 per U.S. dollar, down 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,163.5 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.38%, after U.S. stocks jumped in the previous session on rising hopes for a trade deal . Japanese stocks rose 0.49%.

** The KOSPI has risen 5.86% so far this year, while it gained 3.2% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

** The trading volume in the KOSPI index was 483.35 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 368.

** The won has lost 4.2% against the dollar this year.

** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 point to 110.05, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53% in late afternoon trade.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.2 basis points to 1.524% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 1.788%. (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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