South Korean shares fall as heavyweight chipmakers drag

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KOSPI falls, foreigners net sellers

Korean won weakens against dollar

South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, Jan 31 (Reuters) -Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares were set for their best month in more than two years, even as heavyweight chipmakers dragged markets lower on Tuesday amid fading hopes of a semiconductor industry turnaround. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

** The benchmark KOSPI .KS11 fell 10.08 points, or 0.40%, to 2,440.39, as of 0208 GMT. The KOSPI has risen more than 9% so far this month and is set for its best month since December 2020.

** Chipmaker Samsung Electronics 005930.KS fell 2.69% and peer SK Hynix 000660.KS lost 2.98%, both set for their biggest daily losses in two months.

** "Chipmakers were seen pricing in investor disappointment over signals from Samsung Electronics that there would not be production cuts," said Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Securities.

** Samsung Electronics said it would continue to invest in the memory chip business this year, after it reported its lowest quarterly profit since 2014.

** Cuts in capital investment and production are usually seen as an upside factor for chipmaker stocks, as they tend to raise chip prices and earnings.

** Among other heavyweights, automakers and online service providers declined, but battery makers advanced. Of the total 932 issues traded, 487 shares gained.

** Foreigners were net sellers of shares worth 150.1 billion won ($122.12 million). It was the second session out of 20 this month that they sold South Korean stocks.

** They are likely to post their biggest monthly purchase since September 2013.

** The won was quoted at 1,229.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform KRW=KFTC, 0.13% lower than its previous close at 1,227.4.

** The won has gained nearly 3% against the dollar so far this month and is likely to post its fourth straight monthly gain.

** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds KTBc1 fell 0.11 point to 104.84.

** The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 2.3 basis points to 3.294%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 3.4 basis points to 3.273%.

($1 = 1,229.1400 won)

Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu


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