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Seoul: Stocks fall, snapping 4-day gaining streak; won hits near 7-week high

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index nudged down on Wednesday, as profit-taking by foreign and institutional investors weighed. The Korean won gained on the local platform to close at a seven-week high, while bond yields fell.

At 0630 GMT, the benchmark index was down 8.41 points or 0.34 per cent at 2,486.08. The won was quoted at 1,064.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.27 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,067.5. The currency ended trade at its highest closing level since Jan 26.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,063.47 per US dollar, up 0.23 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,053.9 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.71 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session lower. Japanese stocks weakened 0.87 per cent.

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The KOSPI is up around 1.1 per cent so far this year, and has risen 2.64 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 was 357,035,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 324.

Foreigners were net sellers of 129,556 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has fallen 0.27 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 0.1 point to 107.8.

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 2.277 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.30 per cent.

REUTERS

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