January 8, 2020 / 2:00 AM / 10 days ago

S.Korea stocks drop as Iran strike on U.S. forces rattles sentiment

    * KOSPI hits lowest since Dec 12; foreigners net buyers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

    SEOUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
South Korean shares on Wednesday hit a one-month low after Iran
attacked U.S. forces in Iraq, stoking fears of sharp escalations
in a developing Middle East conflict. The Korean won dropped
over 1% against the dollar, and the benchmark bond yield fell.
** Iran launched a missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq in
the early hours of Wednesday, hours after the funeral of an
Iranian commander whose killing in a U.S. drone strike has
raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.             
** As of 0151 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main KOSPI        
was down 31.54 points, or 1.45%, at 2,144.00. Earlier in the
session, the index dropped 1.7%, hitting its lowest since Dec.
12, 2019. 
** If the conflict between the United States and Iran develops
into an all-out military collision, global financial markets
will undergo significant correction and oil prices will surge,
said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities. 
** Shares of Samsung Electronics             bucked the trend
with a 1.4% rise, after the chip giant flagged a
smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit,
strengthening hopes of its business recovery.             
** Foreigners were net buyers of 12.4 billion won ($10.53
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
** The won was quoted at 1,177.4 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.93% lower than its previous
close at 1,166.4. Earlier, the currency fell as low as 1179.3
per dollar, dropping more than 1%. 
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,177.3 per
U.S. dollar, down 0.9% from the previous session, while in
non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract
              was quoted at 1,175.7 per dollar.
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.88%, after U.S. stocks ended weaker.
Japanese stocks         stumbled 2.36%.            
** The KOSPI dropped 2.36% 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 350.91 million shares and, of the total traded
issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 48.
** The won lost 1.8% against the dollar so far this year.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.11 points to 110.73, while the
3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.46%.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield dropped 2.1
basis points to 1.308%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell
by 3.0 basis points to 1.586%.

    ($1 = 1,177.2400 won)    

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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