January 31, 2019 / 2:04 AM / in 16 days

S.Korea stocks flat as China factory activity contracts; won gains

    * KOSPI index edges down, foreigners buy
    * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea bond yields down

    SEOUL, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
markets:
** South Korea's KOSPI stock index         was flat on Thursday,
after it erased early gains as China's factory activity
contracted for the second month in a row. The Korean won rose,
while bond yields fell. 
 
** At 01:59 GMT, the KOSPI was down 0.48 points, or 0.02 percent
at 2,205.72.
    
** Chinese factory activity contracted for a second straight
month in January, data showed on Thursday, pointing to further
strains on the economy that could heighten risks to global
growth. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) ticked up
fractionally to 49.5, but remained below the 50-point level that
separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
            
    
** The market earlier hovered near its highest level since
mid-October on dovish Fed. U.S. Federal Reserve said it will be
patient on future rate hikes, as it held interest rates steady
on Wednesday.             
    
** Samsung Electronics Co Ltd             warned of weaker
earnings in 2019 as it posted a 29 percent drop in
fourth-quarter operating profit on Thursday, hit by a slowdown
in demand for memory chips.             
 
** The won was quoted at 1,112.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.31 percent firmer than its
previous close at 1,116.3. 
 
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,112.87
per U.S. dollar, down 0.25 percent from the previous day, while
in one-year non-deliverable forwards             it was being
transacted at 1,097.05 per dollar. 
 
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was up 0.36 percent, after U.S. stocks ended the
previous session with gains            . Japanese stocks        
rose 0.94 percent. 
 
** The KOSPI is up around 8.1 percent so far this year.
    
** 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 180,357,000 shares and, of the total traded issues
of 891, the number of advancing shares was 396.
 
** Foreigners were net buyers of 66,257 million won worth of
shares.
 
** The U.S dollar has fallen 0.04 percent against the won this
year. The won's high for the year is 1,109.89 per dollar on Jan.
30 and low is 1,133.4 on Jan. 21.
 
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.11 points to 109.27.
 
** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was
quoted at 1.86 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean
treasury bond yielded 1.81 percent, lower than the previous
day's 1.83 percent.

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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