October 11, 2018 / 5:50 AM / 6 days ago

UPDATE 1-S.Korean shares plunge as much as 4.2 pct, won slumps

    * KOSPI index drops as much as 4.2 pct, foreigners sell
    * Korean won plunges to over 1-yr low versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korean bond yields drop

 (Adds analysts quotes, updates data)
    SEOUL, Oct 11 (Reuters) - South Korean stocks markets
        slumped on Thursday, with the main KOSPI index tumbling
to its lowest since April 2017, amid a rout in Asian shares
after steep overnight losses on Wall Street.
    The benchmark index fell as much as 4.2 percent intraday,
heading for its single biggest daily decline in seven years and
extending its losing streak to an eighth day. 
    South Korean technology stocks Samsung Electronics
            and SK Hynix             dropped nearly 4 percent
and 1.3 percent, respectively, pulling the KOSPI technology
sub-index down 3.5 percent in the session, as of 05:00 GMT. 
    Almost all top 10 KOSPI stocks were in red, except Naver
           , which was under a trading halt ahead of a stock
split. The Junior KOSDAQ index         slid more than 4 percent.
    "This is a U.S. equity problem, and its decade-long
outperformance is overdue a major correction," Peter Park, head
of securities management at South Korea’s IBK Insurance, said.
"Further short-term equity pain may well be unavoidable in South
Korea as foreigners are selling, but bond market is holding up.”
    "South Korea (markets) have been hit by the United States
and these days also by China," said Kim Hak-kyun, an analyst at
Mirae Asset Daewoo. 
    The KOSPI is down around 9.7 percent so far this year, and
down by 1.97 percent in the previous 30 days. Foreigners were
net sellers of 503,227 million won ($439.73 million) worth of
shares.
    "There could be a rebound, but this will be limited,
considering the rout in U.S. tech shares and the possibility of
an extended trade conflict between the U.S. and China," said Kim
Doo-un, an economist at KB Securities.
    The losses did not spill over to bond markets, as the 3-year
treasury note yield traded at 2.037 percent mid-day, down from
2.059 percent at Wednesday's close, data from the Korea
Financial Investment Association shows. 
    The won was quoted at 1,143.5 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.83 percent weaker from its
previous close at 1,134, as of 05:00 GMT. 
    The U.S dollar has risen 7.27 percent against the won this
year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on
April 2 and the low is 1,144.67 on Thursday. 
        
($1 = 1,144.3900 won)

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Cynthia Kim; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri and Sunil Nair)
  
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