* KOSPI index drops, foreigners net buyers
* Korean won sags versus U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, March 13 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index ended lower on Wednesday as investors cautiously watched the development of U.S.-China trade talks, while select aviation shares dragged. Both the Korean won and the benchmark bond yield fell. ** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI ended down 8.77 points or 0.41 percent to 2,148.41 points.
** The United States and China may be in the final weeks of discussions to hammer out a deal to ease their tit-for-tat tariff dispute, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday, but he cautioned that major issues remained.
** Some of South Korea’s airline stocks stumbled in the aftermath of crash of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 jet in Ethiopia; shares of T’way Air closed down 4.3 percent, while Korean Air Lines and JejuAir shrank 2.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. ** Shares of YG Entertaintment jumped 5.2 percent after the agency cancelled contract with scandal-hit singer Seungri, who was charged for providing prostitutes to investors. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 102.0 billion won ($90.05 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won was quoted at 1,132.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.25 percent lower than its previous close at 1,129.8. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,132.7 per U.S. dollar, down 0.5 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,130.7 per dollar.
** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.35 percent, after U.S. stocks were mixed. Japanese stocks fell 0.99 percent.
** The KOSPI has risen 5.27 percent so far this year, and rose 1.4 percent in the previous 30 trading sessions.
** 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 277.85 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 898, the number of advancing shares was 403.
** The won has lost 1.5 percent against the U.S dollar this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 points to 109.28, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.89 percent.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.4 basis points to 1.797 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 2.7 basis points to 1.966 percent. ($1 = 1,132.7100 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)