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Seoul: Stocks hit 2-month high as US government shutdown ends; won flat

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index rose on Tuesday. The Korean won was tentative while bond yields fell.

At 06.30 GMT, the KOSPI was up 34.49 points or 1.38 per cent at 2,536.60. The benchmark index ended at its highest since Nov 24, 2017 as US government shutdown ended, boosting investor sentiment. The index was also supported by strong gains in major IT companies, especially LG Display, whose OLED outlook offset earnings gloom. The company's shares rose nearly 6 per cent on Tuesday.

Shares of LG Electronics erased their earlier losses and ended trade up 0.5 per cent. The shares were initially hit after the US decision to slap tariffs on imported washing machines. Samsung Electronics also extended gains to 1.9 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,070.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.01 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,070.1. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,069.61 per US dollar, down 0.07 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,059.75 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.88 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 1.29 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 1.4 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.12 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 366,447,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 592.

Foreigners were net buyers of 218,382 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 0.3 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 1,073.2 on Jan 11.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 points to 107.74. 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 2.187 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.20 per cent.

REUTERS

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