January 8, 2019 / 2:08 AM / 8 months ago

S.Korea stocks muted as investors cautious on trade talks, earnings outlook

    * KOSPI index inches lower, foreigners buy
    * Korean won is steady versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea bond yields down

    SEOUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial
** South Korea's KOSPI stock index         was flat on Tuesday
as investors awaited the outcome of the ongoing trade talks
between the United States and China, while the country's tech
giant Samsung Electronics             flagged its first profit
drop in two years. The won was steady, while bond yields fell.
** At 01:51 GMT, the KOSPI was down 5.49 points or 0.27 percent
at 2,031.61.
** Wait-and-see attitude is dominant regarding the progress of
the Sino-U.S. trade talks, Jeong Dai, an analyst at Meritz
Securities says, noting there's heightened anxiety on profit
outlook following Samsung's Q4 profit estimate.
** U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the immediate
trade issues would be easiest to tackle while enforcement issues
and structural reforms would be more challenging. Officials from
the two sides has resumed talks in a bid to end the trade

** Samsung Elec estimated a 29 percent drop in quarterly
operating profit, blaming weak demand from China.              

** While Samsung Elec's shares were down 0.5 percent, shares of
LG Electronics             stumbled 3.3 percent as analysts
expect its smartphone sales to be sluggish in 2019, if Chinese
demands remain fragile.             
** The won was quoted at 1,118.6 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , steady compared with its
previous close at 1,118.6. 
** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted at 1,119.11
per U.S. dollar, down 0.22 percent from the previous day, while
in one-year non-deliverable forwards             it was being
transacted at 1,100.9 per dollar. 
** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                was down 0.03 percent, after U.S. stocks ended
the previous session with mild gains            . Japanese
stocks         rose 0.53 percent. 
** The KOSPI is down around 0.2 percent so far this year, and
down by 1.90 percent in the previous 30 days.
** 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 144,591,000 shares and, of the total 890 traded
issues, the number of advancing shares was 406.
** Foreigners were net buyers of 2,624 million won worth of
** The U.S dollar has risen 0.52 percent against the won this
year. The won's high for the year is 1,114.7 per dollar on Jan 2
and low is 1,130.05 on Jan 3.
** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year
treasury bonds         rose 0.01 points to 109.29.
** The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was
quoted at 1.86 percent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean
treasury bond yielded 1.803 percent, lower than the previous
day's 1.81 percent.

 (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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