March 21, 2019 / 7:02 AM / 3 months ago

Chip giants support South Korean stocks; won rises

* KOSPI index ends higher, foreigners net buyers

* Korean won gains versus U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, March 21 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korea’s KOSPI stock index rose on Thursday, though it gave up some early gains over growth concerns, as rallying chip shares supported the broader market. The Korean won strengthened while the benchmark bond yield fell. ** The Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI ended up 7.78 points or 0.36 percent to 2,184.88 points.

** Shares of South Korean chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix jumped 4.1 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, after U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology forecast recovery in memory market.

** Local markets opened up, boosted by Micron’s outlook, but sentiments were dented in the late trading by growth worries, said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

** The latest U.S. economic projections showed policymakers at the median see its economy growing only 2.1 percent in 2019, a full percentage point below the roughly 3 percent growth that was seen in 2018 and which the Trump administration contends will continue. ** YG Entertainment, one of South Korea’s top talent management agencies, and affiliate YG Plus fell as National Tax Service launched a probe into the agency amid snowballing sex scandals in the nation’s music industry. ** Foreigners were net buyers of 484.4 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,127.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.24 percent higher than its previous close at 1,130.4. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,127.5 per U.S. dollar, down 0.2 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,126.2 per dollar.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.51 percent, after U.S. stocks rallied on dovish Fed statement. Japanese stocks markets are closed for a public holiday.

** The KOSPI has risen 7.05 percent so far this year, and has fallen 1.3 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 337.32 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 236.

** The won has lost 1.1 percent against the U.S dollar this year.

** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.10 points to 109.35, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 percent.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell 1.7 basis points to 1.795 percent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 4.3 basis points to 1.935 percent. (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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