March 28, 2018 / 2:45 AM / 10 months ago

S.Korea stocks fall sharply; won volatile on currency side deal

    * KOSPI index falls more than 1 pct, foreigners sell 
    * Korean won reverses early losses vs U.S. dollar
    * South Korea bond yields down

    SEOUL, March 28 (Reuters) - South Korean shares dropped more
than 1 percent in early trade on Wednesday, tracking sharp
losses in U.S. markets overnight, while the won showed high
volatility as Seoul and Washington were reported to have had a
currency side deal. 
    The United States and South Korea have reached an agreement
on a revised trade pact that includes a side deal aimed at
deterring competitive currency devaluation by Seoul and provides
relief from U.S. tariffs on steel, senior Trump administration
officials said on Tuesday.             
    The local currency also received some support after China
said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to denuclearise the
Korean peninsula during an historic meeting in Beijing.
Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korea's KOSPI stock index         slumped over 1 pct on
Wednesday. The Korean won edged up, erasing early losses, while
bond yields fell.
** At 02:16 GMT, the KOSPI was down 31.18 points, or 1.27
percent, at 2,420.88. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics
            fell more than 3 percent soon after the opening.

** Shares of steelmakers were mostly down amid worries that
demand from auto manufacturers would decline due to the revised
trade pact with the United States, with the sub-index for iron,
steel and metal         down 2.1 percent.             
** North Korea-exposed shares, however, extended gains on Kim
Jon Un's China visit, with Shinwon             and In The F
            up 5.8 pct and 4.9 pct, respectively.
** The won was quoted at 1,068.6 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.16 percent firmer than its
previous close at 1,070.3. 
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,068.68
per U.S. dollar, up 0.51 percent from the previous day, while in
one-year non-deliverable forwards             it was being asked
at 1,055.65 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.74 percent, after U.S. stocks ended
the previous session with sharp losses            . Japanese
stocks         weakened 1.62 percent. 
** The KOSPI is down around 0.6 percent so far this year, and
down by 1.85 percent in the previous 30 days.
** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend
yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04
trillion won. 
** The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index
        was 267,938,000 shares, and of the total traded issues
of 883, the number of advancing shares was 235.
** Foreigners were net sellers of 186,790 million won worth of
** The U.S dollar has risen 0.22 percent against the won this
year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan.
14, 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb. 6, 2018.
** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.07 points to 107.7.

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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