* KOSPI index ends flat, foreigners net sellers
* Korean won barely changes versus U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield steady
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, March 20 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index ended steady on Wednesday recouping much of its losses, as tech shares lifted the market in the late trading of the session. The Korean won strengthened while the benchmark bond yield was unchanged. ** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI ended down 0.52 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,177.10 points.
** Samsung Electronics said its new flagship smartphones were selling well in China and it was confident it could reverse the recent slump in its fortunes in the world’s biggest smartphone market. Following its annual general meeting, the tech giant shares turned higher, ending up 0.3 percent.
** Shares of SK Hynix also turned higher, up 3.7 percent, boosted by net buying of foreigners and institutions.
** South Korea’s central bank needs to be mindful of the side effects of an early easing in policy rates, a bank board member said, adding to views that the bank’s seven-member board is likely to keep settings unchanged this year. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 123.4 billion won worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,130.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.02 percent higher than its previous close at 1,130.6. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,130.2 per U.S. dollar, down 0.0 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,128.1 per dollar.
** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.14 percent, after U.S. stocks ended little changed. Japanese stocks rose 0.20 percent.
** The KOSPI has risen 6.67 percent so far this year, and fell 1.3 percent in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** 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 312.81 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 281.
** The won has lost 1.3 percent against the U.S dollar this year.
** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 points to 109.28, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 percent.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.3 basis points to 1.813 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield was flat at 1.979 percent. (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)