October 24, 2019 / 2:58 AM / 23 days ago

S.Korea stocks drop on weak pharma shares; GDP data misses estimates

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

    SEOUL, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
South Korean shares declined on Thursday, weighed by
pharmaceutical stocks, after growth data showed that the
export-reliant economy had slowed more than expected. The Korean
won strengthened and benchmark bond yields dropped.
    
** As of 0245 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
was down 4.32 points, or 0.21%, at 2,076.30. The medical
sub-index         was the biggest percentage loser with a 1.5%
drop. 
    
** Pharma shares led losses in the broader markets, said Park
Sang-hyun, an analyst from HI Investment & Securities. South
Korea's GDP missed forecast, but its impact was limited as weak
growth was already expected, he added. 
    
** South Korea's economy has been among those worst-hit by
cooling global demand as a prolonged U.S.-China tariff war
disrupted world supply chains in a blow to business confidence
and investment. A months-long trade spat with Japan has also
added to strains on Korean exporters.                
    
** Meanwhile, Britain appears closer than ever to resolving its
3-1/2-year Brexit conundrum but there are still hurdles to
clear. EU member states on Wednesday delayed a decision on
whether to grant Britain a three-month Brexit extension. Prime
Minister Boris Johnson said if the deadline is deferred to the
end of January, he would call an election.               
            
** Closer home, investors locked in profits after a recent rally
in South Korean medical stocks, said Shin Jae-hoon, an analyst
at Hanwha Investment & Securities. Drugmaker Celltrion
            tumbled over 3%, as its affiliate Celltrion
HealthCare             fell more than 8% on a block trade, he
said.         
    
** South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix             posted its
smallest quarterly profit in three years with a 93% on-year drop
in July-September earnings, but its shares rose more than 2% as
its earnings beat estimates.             
         
** Foreigners were net buyers of 130.9 billion won ($111.93
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
    
** The won was quoted at 1,170.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.13% higher than its previous
close at 1,172.4.
    
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,169.4 per
U.S. dollar, flat from the previous day, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,168.1 per dollar.
    
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.29%, after U.S. stocks closed up.
Japanese stocks         rose 0.55%.            
    
** The KOSPI climbed 1.77% so far this year, and gained 3.8% in
the previous 30 trading sessions.
    
** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 182.75 million shares, and of the total traded
issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 242.
    
** The won lost 4.7% against the dollar so far this year.
    
** In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year
treasury bonds         dipped 0.04 points to 110.38, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.36%.
    
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.2
basis points to 1.390%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
by 1.6 basis points to 1.640%.

($1 = 1,169.5000 won)

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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