July 16, 2020 / 2:26 AM / 24 days ago

S.Korean shares flat as cenbank stands pat on rates; Sino-U.S. friction weighs

    * KOSPI flat, foreigners net sellers
    * Korean won weakens versus U.S. dollar
    * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

    SEOUL, July 16 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean
financial markets:
    ** South Korean shares were flat on Thursday as U.S.-China
tensions offset hopes of a coronavirus vaccine, while the
central bank maintained the benchmark rate as policymakers
remain wary of further easing. The Korean won weakened, while
the benchmark bond yield rose.
    ** The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI         was trading
at 1.90 points, or 0.09%, at 2,199.98, as of 0132 GMT. 
    ** The South Korean central bank kept the benchmark interest
rate unchanged on Thursday. The rate is at the lowest since the
central bank adopted the current system in 1999, having slashed
a total of 75 basis points since March this year to fight the
economic fallout from the pandemic.             
    ** Investors have also maintained a cautious stance ahead of
China GDP data amid collision of U.S.-China tensions and vaccine
hopes, said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
    ** A Reuters poll showed that analysts are expecting China
to report 2.5% economic growth, reversing a 6.8% first-quarter
decline driven by the outbreak.             
    ** Foreigners were net sellers of 47.7 billion won ($39.67
million) worth of shares on the main board. 
    ** The won was quoted at 1,201.9 per dollar on the onshore
settlement platform           , 0.12% lower than its previous
close at 1,200.5.
    ** In offshore trading, the won        was quoted down 0.1%
at 1,202.1 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading
its one-month contract               was quoted at 1,201.0.
    ** MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan                 was down 0.31%, after U.S. stocks rose on
vaccine hopes            . Japanese stocks         fell 0.33%.
    ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index
        was 310.43 million shares. Of the total traded issues of
900, the number of advancing shares was 506.
    ** In money and debt markets, September futures on
three-year treasury bonds         fell 0.02 point to 111.97.
    ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by
0.8 basis point to 0.855%, while the benchmark 10-year yield
rose by 0.4 basis point to 1.420%.

    ($1 = 1,202.5000 won)

 (Reporting by Jihoon Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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