South Korean stocks end flat as investors await China and US economic data


* KOSPI apartment, net foreign sellers

* The Korean won strengthens against the US dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield drops

* For the midday report, please click

SEOUL, June 8 (Reuters) – Overview of South Korea’s financial markets:

**South Korean stocks erased early gains to end flat on Wednesday as investors refrained from placing big bets ahead of key economic data from China and the United States. The Korean won strengthened as benchmark bond yields fell.

**The benchmark KOSPI ended at 2,626.15, reversing a 0.50% rise in early trade.

** South Korean stocks erased gains on Chinese market weakness on caution ahead of export data as investors also awaited U.S. inflation data due later in the week, Choi said Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment.

** China’s vice commerce minister said on Wednesday, a day before its May export data was released, that foreign trade was facing enormous uncertainty and pressure due to domestic and external factors, including logistics problems and soaring raw material prices.

** Meanwhile, South Korea’s economy grew 0.6% seasonally adjusted in the first quarter from three months earlier, slightly lower than the 0.7% growth estimated earlier, according to revised central bank data.

**Among the heavyweights, tech giant Samsung Electronics fell 0.31%, while peer SK Hynix rose 1.92%. Battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 1.50%, while parent company LG Chem jumped 4.50%.

** Mobile financial service provider Kakaopay fell 15.57% as Alipay Singapore sold its stake worth 467.5 billion won ($372.66 million).

**Foreigners were net sellers of 103.3 billion won ($82.34 million) of shares on the main board.

** The won was last quoted at 1,253.8 to the dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.31% higher than its previous close at 1,257.7.

** In the offshore trade, the won was quoted at 1,254.3 to the dollar, while in the forward non-deliverable trade, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,253.7.

**In money and debt markets, June three-year Treasury bill futures rose 0.11 points to 104.87 by late afternoon trading.

** The most liquid Korean 3-year treasury yield fell 1.7 basis points to 3.214%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 6.4 basis points to 3.474%.

($1 = 1,254.4800 won) (Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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