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South Korea: Stocks hit by losses in Wall Street, won slides to 8-week low

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index tumbled nearly 2 per cent on Monday, pressured by big losses on Wall Street on fears that a pick-up in inflation could spur more rapid interest rate increases. The Korean won also fell over 1 per cent to its lowest in eight weeks, while bond yields rose.

At 0118 GMT, the Kospi was down 41.43 points or 1.64 per cent at 2,483.96. Blue chip-related shares were especially weaker with both Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix sharply down more than 3 per cent soon after opening.

The won was quoted at 1,090.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.97 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,079.7. The currency lost ground as investors turned away from riskier assets as US stocks marked heavy losses.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,090.45 per US dollar, down 0.11 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,080.25 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.10 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses . Japanese stocks weakened 2.34 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 2.3 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.89 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 177,314,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 879, the number of advancing shares was 102.

Foreigners were net sellers of 159,276 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 2.27 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on January 14 2018 and low is 1,092.3 on February 5 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.1 points to 107.47.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.295 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.25 per cent.

REUTERS

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