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South Korea: Stocks, won at multi-week high as trading resumes after holiday

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose to near two-week high on Monday, while the won jumped to its highest in three weeks and bond yields climbed.

0102 GMT, the Kospi was up 15.10 points or 0.62 per cent at 2,436.93. The index was supported by gradually improving sentiment after a recent rout in equity markets that was fueled in part by worries of rising inflation.

Seoul's financial markets resumed trading after a two-day Lunar New Year holiday.

Steel shares were weak as the United States said it plans to impose tougher tariffs on steel products that are imported, including those from South Korea.

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The won was quoted at 1,068.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.82 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,077.2.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,068.7 per dollar, down 0.23 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,058.65 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.29 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains . Japanese stocks rose 1.19 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 1.9 per cent so far this year, and down by 2.59 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 94,649,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 876, the number of advancing shares was 624.

Foreigners were net buyers of 21,159 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.22 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 1,098.4 on February 6.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.09 points to 107.55.

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 2.303 percent, higher than the previous day's 2.27 per cent.

REUTERS

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