January 15, 2020 / 2:10 AM / a month ago

S.Korea stocks drop as U.S. tariffs on China in place until Phase 2 deal

    * KOSPI drops, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
South Korean shares slipped on Wednesday as trade optimism ebbed
after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said U.S. tariffs
on Chinese goods would remain in place for a while longer. The
Korean won and the benchmark bond yield weakened.
    
** As of 0202 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
was down 5.09 points, or 0.23%, at 2,233.79.
    
** Mnuchin, however, said U.S. President Donald Trump could
consider easing tariffs if the world's two largest economies
move quickly to seal a follow-up agreement.                  
    
** Trump is slated to sign the Phase 1 trade agreement with
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House later in the day.
        
** Mnuchin's remarks provided a reason for investors to take
profits, said Seo Sang-young, an analyst with Kiwoom Securities.
The benchmark index erased some of the early losses after
China's central bank said it would conduct lending facility
operations.             
    
** Adding to worries over U.S.-China trade relations, the U.S.
government is nearing publication of a rule that would vastly
expand its powers to block shipments of foreign-made goods to
China's Huawei.             
        
** Foreigners were net sellers of 30.6 billion won ($26.39
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,160.4 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.37% lower than its previous
close at 1,156.1.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,159.4 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.2% from the previous session, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,158.2 per dollar.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.15%, after U.S. stocks inched lower
overnight            . Japanese stocks         dropped 0.24%.
    
** The KOSPI rose 1.64% so far this year, and gained 5.7% in the
previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 294.01 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 485.
    
** The won lost 0.3% against the dollar so far this year.
    
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         fell 0.04 points to 110.41, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.46%.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.1
basis points to 1.395%, while the benchmark 10-year yield
dropped 1.3 basis points to 1.703%.

($1 = 1,159.6400 won)    

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