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Seoul: Stocks close at record high, won at over 3-year high

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index hit record closing high of 2,562.23 on Thursday, notching its previous high in November 2017. The Korean won climbed against the dollar to its highest since October 2014 and bond yields rose.

By the close, KOSPI had gained 24.23 points or 0.95 per cent. The benchmark index was boosted by chipmaker SK Hynix after it posted a record profit. Shares of SK Hynix gained 4.7 per cent, while Samsung Electronics rose nearly 2 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,058.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 1.1 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,070.2. The won ended trade at its highest in more than three years as the greenback weakened on global markets.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,057.88 per US dollar, up 0.53 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it traded at 1,048.64 per dollar.

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The US dollar has fallen 0.79 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14, 2018 and low is 1,077.2 on Jan 23, 2018.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.30 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.13 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 2.9 per cent so far this year, and has gained 3.00 per cent during the previous 30 days. The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 per cent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won.

The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 507,159,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 611.

Foreigners were net buyers of 362,621 million won worth of shares. ** In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 107.69. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.208 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.20 per cent.

REUTERS

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