September 15, 2017 / 2:26 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea markets step back after latest N.Korea missile launch

    * N.Korea fires missile over northern Japan into the sea
    * Won, KOSPI edge lower; risk measures barely move
    * Investors think today's missile won't be any threat to US
    * Muted responses in risk assets suggest fatigue creeping in

 (adds comments from analyst and finance ministry, updates
    By Dahee Kim
    SEOUL, Sept 15 (Reuters) - South Korean stocks and the won
pulled back slightly on Friday after North Korea launched a
missile over northern Japan, not long after Pyongyang's latest
and most powerful nuclear test.             
    But analysts said market reaction to the early Friday launch
was relatively muted as another test had been expected and it
did not pose a threat to U.S. territory.             
    The won            was at 1,135.3 to the dollar as of 0015
GMT, down 0.2 percent versus Thursday's close of 1,132.6.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 0.3 percent at 2,370.79 points.
    "Investors believe the missile fell short of being any
threat to the United States," said Paik Seokhyun, a foreign
exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank.
    Dutch bank ING said in its morning note that increasingly
muted responses in riskier assets to North Korean sabre-rattling
suggest a sense of fatigue is creeping in for investors.
    Indeed, risk reversals in won options           , used to
hedge against volatility in the currency, were at 3.4 points, 
steady from the previous close.
    The spread on South Korea's 5-year credit default swaps
                stood at 67.8 basis points, edging up from
Thursday's 66.6 basis points. 
    South Korea's finance ministry said in a statement that    
increasingly frequent provocations by North Korea could continue
to weigh on local financial markets and said it would minimize
the negative impact from geopolitical risks. 
    In the stock market, decliners outnumbered advancers 521 to
    Market heavyweight Hyundai Motor             was down 2.1
percent while Samsung Electronics             lost nearly 1
    But shares of Lotte Shopping             soared as much as
9.6 percent after the company picked Goldman Sachs        to
manage the sale of its supermarkets in China, after most of them
were shut amid political tensions between the two countries.
    Offshore investors sold a net 81 billion Korean won ($71.45
million) worth of KOSPI shares.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds         was
unchanged at 109.39. 
                       0146 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,133.9       1,132.6
 Yen/won             10.2849/32       10.2795
 *KTB futures            109.39        109.39
 KOSPI                 2,369.99      2,377.66
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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