March 25, 2019 / 7:10 AM / a month ago

S.Korean stocks fall most in 5 months on U.S. recession woes; bonds rally

* KOSPI index sheds nearly 2 pct, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won drops versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea 3-yr bond futures hit highest since Aug 2017

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, March 25 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index extended its loss on Monday by falling nearly 2 percent, marking the sharpest daily drop since Oct. 23 last year, as fears of global economic slowdown spooked investors. Both the Korean won and the benchmark bond yield stumbled. ** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI index closed down 42.09 points, or 1.92 percent, to 2,144.86 points. Junior KOSDAQ shrank 2.25 percent.

** U.S. markets received a clear warning of coming recession on Friday when the spread between yields on three-month Treasury bills and 10-year notes fell below zero for the first time since 2007 after U.S. manufacturing data missed estimates. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 69.6 billion won ($61.36 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** Foreigners’ sell-off pulled down the Korean won, and this has fuelled their desire for profit-taking, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst from Daishin Securities. Export-exposed sectors such as chemical, IT and auto shares fell considerably, Lee added.

** Responding to the inversion, South Korea’s June futures on three-year treasury bonds hit the highest since late August 2017 during earlier trading, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 percent.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 3.4 basis points to 1.766 percent, marking the lowest since Jan. 4 to 1.764 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 5.6 basis points to 1.878 percent, hovering near the lowest since November 2016.

** South Korea’s central bank chief said the bank may change its current cautious stance on monetary policy should “recovery sentiment” worsen significantly, signalling it could ease policies if needed.

** The won was quoted at 1,134.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.36 percent lower than its previous close at 1,130.1.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,133.8 per U.S. dollar, up 0.1 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,132.6 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.70 percent, after U.S. stocks fell sharply on recession worries. Japanese stocks fell 3.01 percent.

** The KOSPI has risen 5.09 percent so far this year, and fell 0.7 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 302.12 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 126.

** The won has lost 1.6 percent against the U.S dollar this year. ($1 = 1,134.3600 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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