S.Korean stocks end flat as stalled U.S. stimulus offsets data optimism

* Foreigners net equity sellers

* KRW weakens against USD

* S.Korea benchmark bond yield rises

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares closed almost flat on Monday as dented hopes over a new U.S. stimulus plan and a global surge in coronavirus cases offset optimism around domestic data. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The benchmark KOSPI rose 1.67 points, or 0.07%, to 2,251.04.

** White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday he was not optimistic on reaching agreement soon on a deal for the next round of legislation to provide relief to Americans hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

** A private survey showed on Monday South Korea’s manufacturing activity shrank at a much slower pace in July, signalling that a gradual recovery in demand is gaining momentum, although the resurgence in infections remained a risk.

** The country on Saturday reported a 7% contraction in July exports, the slowest in four months, providing further signs of a recovery.

** Meanwhile, shares of LG Chem Ltd, which supplies batteries to Tesla, surged 14.4% to a record high on higher demand prospects for electric vehicle batteries.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 268.7 billion won ($225.21 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won ended trading at 1,193.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.18% lower than its previous close at 1,191.3.

** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,193.5 per dollar, unchanged from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,193.6.

** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.44%.

** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 point to 112.30.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 0.799% in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.5 basis point to 1.302%. ($1 = 1,193.1100 won) (Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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