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Seoul: Stocks fall; won firm as US dollar remains on back foot

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index weakened on Thursday. The Korean won hovered around 2-1/2-year highs on the local platform while bond yields fell. At 0732 GMT, the KOSPI was down 3.36 points or 0.13 per cent at 2,537.15.

The won was quoted at 1,085.4 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.34 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,089.1. The currency extended gains to the highest since mid-May of 2015, despite a warning by a senior foreign exchange official to speculators earlier in the day.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,085.94 per US dollar, down 0.08 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,083.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.25 per cent , after Wall Street finished mostly soft in the previous session. Japanese stocks rose 0.48 per cent.

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The KOSPI is up around 25.4 per cent so far this year, and 3.35 per cent higher 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 375,211,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 872, the number of advancing shares was 499. Foreigners were net sellers of 76,232 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 9.97 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,085.24 per dollar on Nov 23, 2017 and low is 1,211.8 on Jan 3, 2017.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.11 points to 108.05.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.49 per cent compared with a previous close of 1.48 per cent , while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.132 per cent versus the previous day's 2.17 per cent.

REUTERS

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