** South Korean shares fell for a third straight session on Monday amid geopolitical worries and caution ahead of major company earnings. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield fell.
** The benchmark ended down 20.89 points, or 0.82%, at 2,523.51, marking its lowest closing level since April 10.
** South Korea’s key chipmakers and automakers, among others, are scheduled to report their first-quarter results later this week.
** Geopolitical worries grew in local markets after President Yoon Suk Yeol’s remarks last week over tension in the Taiwan Strait, saying that the South Korean government “absolutely opposes” China’s attempt to change the status quo by force.
** “There were profit-taking pressures and some supply-demand issues for certain stocks,” said Park Gwang-nam, analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.
** Five stocks fell nearly 30% to their daily lower limits, including Seoul Citi Gas, Daesung Holdings Co Ltd, Samchully Co Ltd, Sebang Co Ltd and Daol Investment & Securities Co Ltd. There was no clear common cause for the fall.
** Among the index heavyweights, chipmakers, battery makers and online service providers fell but automakers gained. Of the total 933 issues traded, 206 shares rose.
** Foreigners were net sellers of shares worth 38.4 billion won (USD 28.74 million).
** The won ended onshore trade 0.49% lower at 1,334.8 per dollar, after falling as much as 0.67% to hit a near five-month low of 1,337.1.
** In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds KTBc1 rose 0.03 point to 105.05.
** The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 2.2 basis points (bps) to 3.246%, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 3.7 bps to 3.308%.
(USD 1 = 1,336.0100 won)
(Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Sonia Cheema)