South Korea stocks cut early losses on Biden-Putin meeting plan

  • Fall of KOSPI, net foreign sellers
  • The Korean won appreciates slightly against the US dollar
  • South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Overview of South Korea’s financial markets:

** South Korean stocks fell on Monday, but pared larger losses earlier in the day on news that Russian and US leaders would meet to discuss the Ukraine crisis, raising hopes for a diplomatic solution .

** The Korean won edged higher, while benchmark bond yields rose.

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** At 02:28 GMT, the benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) fell 11.84 points, or 0.43%, to 2,732.68, set for the first decline in nearly a week. The index has fallen 8.23% so far this year.

**Among the heavyweights, tech giants Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) fell 0.81% and 1.52% respectively, while battery maker LG Energy Solution (373220.KS) also fell 0.99%.

** Helping risk sentiment, US President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin agreed in principle to hold a summit on the Russia-Ukraine standoff, pulling Wall Street futures. Read more

** In South Korea, data showed the country’s exports for the first 20 days of February rose 13.1% year-on-year, while imports jumped 12.9%, bringing the trade balance to a deficit of $1.68 billion.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 71.3 billion won ($59.68 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** The won was quoted at 1,194.4 to the dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.13% higher than its previous close at 1,195.9.

** In offshore trade, the won was quoted at 1,194.8 to the dollar, up 0.1% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable futures trade, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,195.3.

** In money and debt markets, March three-year Treasury bill futures fell 0.02 points to 107.68.

** The most liquid Korean 3-year treasury yield rose 0.6 basis points to 2.329%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose 0.6 basis points to 2.734%.

($1 = 1,194.7800 won)

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Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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