September 12, 2018 / 7:07 AM / in 7 months

S.Korean stocks steady amid U.S.-China trade concerns; won slips

* KOSPI index steady, foreigners sell

* Korean won slips versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea bond yields down

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index closed steady on Wednesday amid investor concerns about emerging markets and the latest round of verbal threats in an intensifying U.S.-China trade conflict. The Korean won and bond yields slipped.

** South Korea’s unemployment rate rose to an eight-year high in August as mandatory minimum wages climbed, worsening the country’s economic policy frustrations for President Moon Jae-in whose approval rating is now at its lowest since inauguration. ** A central bank board member said the inflation rate should reach the target level before the rate hike, dampening expectation of monetary tightening in the near future.

** Shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix dropped 1.1 percent and 2 percent, respectively, pressured by disappointing outlook for the chip industry. ** The KOSPI index closed 0.56 points, or 0.02 percent, lower at 2,282.64. ** The won was quoted at 1,128.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.29 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,125.3. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,128.29 per U.S. dollar, down 0.47 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,110.95 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.23 percent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.27 percent. ** The KOSPI is down around 7.5 percent so far this year, and up by 0.45 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 329,269,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 357. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 367,290 million won worth of shares. ** The U.S dollar has risen 5.81 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, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.09 points to 108.99. ** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.898 percent, lower than the previous day’s 1.92 percent, hit by the weakest job data since the financial crisis. (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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