January 2, 2020 / 2:25 AM / a month ago

S.Korea shares begin 2020 with 1% fall; focus on Phase 1 trade deal fine print

    * KOSPI drops as much as 1.2%, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won flat versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

    SEOUL, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
    
** South Korean shares started the New Year on a tepid note by
falling as much as 1.2% on Thursday, as investors awaited
details of the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal and on some profit
booking. The Korean won was steady, while the benchmark bond
yield rose.
    
** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of
trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White
House, though considerable confusion remains about the details
of the agreement.             
    
** Favourable factors have already been priced in during
December last year, said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Yuanta
Securities Korea. Some investors booked profits from market
heavyweights, including Samsung Electronics            , he
added. 
        
** As of 0213 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
fell 19.15 points, or 0.87%, to 2,178.52, after falling as much
as 1.2% earlier in the trade. 
    
** Shares of Samsung Elec lost nearly 1%. 
    
** South Korean exports fell in December year-on-year but less
than expected, which along with a turn to growth in shipments to
China and a slowing pace of decline in chip sales added to
optimism for global trade.             
    
** South Korea's factory activity returned to growth in
December, snapping seven straight months of contraction, helped
by improving demand, especially from abroad, a private business
survey showed on Thursday.             
        
** Foreigners were net sellers of 75.6 billion won ($65.38
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,156.3 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.01% higher than its previous
close at 1,156.4.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,156.4 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,155.1 per dollar.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.18%, after U.S. stocks closed up
marginally on Tuesday            . 
 
** The KOSPI has gained 1.6% in the previous 30 trading
sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 172.82 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 904, the number of advancing shares was 315.
    
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.04 points to 110.58, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53%.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.6
basis points to 1.349%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose
by 2.1 basis points to 1.693%.

($1 = 1,156.3900 won)

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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