January 6, 2020 / 2:04 AM / 2 months ago

S.Korea stocks dive 1% as Mideast tensions knock sentiment

    * KOSPI slips 1%, foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
South Korean stocks dived 1% on Monday as an exchange of threats
between the United States and Iran stoked geopolitical
uncertainty and demand for safe-haven assets. The Korean won and
the benchmark bond yield also weakened.
    
** As of 0153 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
was down 22.25 points, or 1.02%, at 2,154.21. Earlier in the
session, the index dropped 1.06% to its lowest since Dec. 12,
2019.
    
** Iraq's parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and other foreign
troops to leave amid a growing backlash against the U.S. killing
of a top Iranian military commander that has heightened fears of
a wider Middle East conflict.             
    
** This prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to threaten "major
retaliation" if Tehran were to retaliate. Trump had also
threatened sanctions against Baghdad after Iraq's parliament
called on U.S. troops to leave the country.             
               
    
** Oil prices rose sharply over the uncertainties from the
Middle East, weighing down on business expenses, said Huh
Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment. In addition, sluggish
U.S. manufacturing sector data also negatively affected the
local markets, he added. 
    
** The U.S. manufacturing sector fell into its deepest slump in
more than a decade in December as the U.S.-China trade war kept
a lid on factory output, orders and employment, although the
long-awaited Phase 1 trade deal between Washington and Beijing
could limit further downside.             
        
** Foreigners were net buyers of 5.4 billion won ($4.63 million)
worth of shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,168.0 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.08% lower than its previous
close at 1,167.1.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,167.5 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous session, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,166.4 per dollar.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.48%, after U.S. stocks closed lower
on Friday            . Japanese stocks         fell more than
2%. 
    
** The KOSPI dropped 1.69% so far this year, but gained 1.1% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 258.63 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 86.
    
** The won lost 1% against the dollar so far this year.
    
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.06 points to 110.89, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.2
basis points to 1.281%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
2.3 basis points to 1.529%.

    ($1 = 1,167.4900 won)    

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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