By Reuters Staff
* KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers
* Korean won weakens against U.S. dollar
* South Korea benchmark bond yield falls
* For the midday report, please click
SEOUL, March 19 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets:
** South Korean shares ended lower on Friday, posting their first weekly loss in three as a spike in U.S. bond yields weighed, with sentiment further dented by Sino-U.S. tensions. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
** The KOSPI closed down 26.48 points, or 0.86%, at 3,039.53, having fallen as much as 1.42%. The benchmark index posted a weekly decline of 0.49%, reversing a 0.93% gain a week earlier.
** Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix dropped 1.21% and 2.82%, respectively, leading benchmark declines, while battery maker LG Chem slid 3.60%.
** The benchmark U.S. 10-year yield spiked to 1.754% for the first time since January 2020, even as the Federal Reserve repeated its pledge to keep interest rates near zero through 2024.
** The first high-level U.S.-China talks of the Biden administration got off to a fiery start on Thursday, with both sides levelling sharp rebukes of the others policies in a rare display that underscored the level of bilateral tension.
** Foreigners were net sellers of 583.3 billion won ($515.57 million) worth of shares on the main board.
** The won ended at 1,130.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.61% lower than its previous close at 1,123.7.
** For the week, it gained 0.28%, marking the first weekly gain in four. The won lost 0.68% in the previous week.
** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,131.2 per dollar, down 0.3% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,131.4.
** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 2.6 basis points to 1.157%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 3.4 basis points to 2.116%.