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South Korea: Stocks wobble, won marks sharp gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index pared gains in early trade on Wednesday, swinging in and out of positive territory. The Korean won strengthened and bond yields rose.

At 01.09 GMT, the Kospi was down 0.23 points or 0.01 per cent at 2,453.08. The benchmark index was weighed by selling from foreign investors and domestic institutions.

The won was quoted at 1,080.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 1.04 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,091.5. The currency rose as investors'demand for riskier assets rose following gains in Wall Street.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,080.5 per US dollar, down 0.14 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,070.05 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.75 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains . Japanese stocks rose 3.06 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.6 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.97 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 153,211,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 880, the number of advancing shares was 511.

Foreigners were net sellers of 102,621 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.33 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 0.01 points to 107.59.

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 2.259 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.25 per cent.

REUTERS

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