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Seoul: Stocks hit 4-month low on trade talk anxiety; won down

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index stumbled on Monday marking the lowest since Jan 15, as growing uncertainties over the Sino-US trade deal kept hammering the market.

The Korean won also weakened, hovering near its lowest level since January 2017, and the benchmark bond yield fell.

As of 0140 GMT, Seoul stock market's main Kospi fell 17.24 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 2,090.80.

The United States and China appeared at a deadlock over trade negotiations on Sunday as Washington demanded promises of concrete changes to Chinese law and Beijing said it would not swallow any "bitter fruit" that harmed its interests.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 34.5 billion won (S$40 million) worth of shares on the main board. The won was quoted at 1,180.2 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.27 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,177.0.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,180.5 per US dollar, down 0.5 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,178.9 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.35 per cent, after US stocks closed up, snapping losing streak after Mr Trump's remarks. Japanese stocks fell 0.60 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 2.63 per cent so far this year, and fell 1.8 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 per cent and the market cap is 1,242.04 trillion won.

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 209.55 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 891, the number of advancing shares was 300.

The won has lost 5.5 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 point to 109.53, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.2 basis points to 1.717 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.3 basis points to 1.869 per cent.

REUTERS