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Seoul: Stocks end near 5-month low; won pares losses

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index closed at its weakest level since September on Friday as a renewed selloff on Wall Street sapped confidence. The South Korean won pared earlier losses, but still ended at two-month lows while bond yields rose.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was down 43.85 points or 1.82 per cent at 2,363.77. The benchmark index fell 6.4 per cent for the week, the biggest weekly decline since May, 2012.

The won was quoted at 1,092.1 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.38 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,087.9. The currency declined 1.1 per cent for its second straight week of losses.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,090.87 per dollar, up 0.52 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,082.05 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 2.17 per cent, after US stocks fell sharply on the previous day.. Japanese stocks weakened 2.32 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 2.4 per cent so far this year, and off 0.81 per cent in 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 479,069,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 193.

Foreigners were net sellers of 308,940 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 2.3 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6. In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 points to 107.6. 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 2.273 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.27 per cent.

REUTERS

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