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Seoul: Stocks, won down as Fed worries dampen sentiment

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index and the Korean won both slumped to over one-week lows on Thursday as risk appetite weakened after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting suggested policymakers will continue raising rates further this year.

At 0630 GMT, the KOSPI was down 15.37 points or 0.63 per cent at 2,414.28. The won was quoted at 1,084.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.75 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,076.2. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,082.9 per U.S. dollar, down 0.73 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,073.05 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.75 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.07 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 1.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 3.33 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 344,874,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 256.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 98,476 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 1.55 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 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 point to 107.58. 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 2.308 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.31 per cent.

REUTERS

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