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South Korea: Stocks and won gain, look past Q4 GDP contraction

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won rose on Thursday, shrugging off central bank data showing that the economy contracted in the fourth quarter.

Gross domestic product fell by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, a payback from bumper growth of 1.5 per cent in the third quarter, the fastest expansion in seven years.

At 00:36 GMT, the Kospi was up 9.06 points or 0.37 per cent at 2,547.34.

The won was quoted at 1,065.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.46 percent firmer than its previous close at 1,070.2.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,065.1 per dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,053.8 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.09 per cent, after US stocks were pressured by fears of a trade war. Japanese stocks weakened 0.7 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 2.9 per cent so far this year, and up by 3.00 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 79,744,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 873, the number of advancing shares was 487.

Foreigners were net buyers of 56,114 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.11 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on January 14 and low is 1,077.2 on January 23.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to107.69.

REUTERS

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