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Seoul: Chip, carmaker shares lead losses; won gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Tuesday, weighed by losses in tech and auto industries. The won rose while bond yields fell.

At 0630 GMT, the KOSPI was down 17.98 points or 0.86 per cent at 2,082.58, snapping three sessions of gains.

South Korea's leading chipmakers slipped, tracking US peers, as media reports on weak sales of Apple's new iPhone and China's probe on alleged antitrust violations weighed on investor sentiment amid global anxieties; Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc closed down 2.0 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively.

South Korean carmakers slumped on growing uncertainties with the sub-index for transportation falling 2.1 per cent. Shares of Hyundai Motor Co closed down 3.9 per cent, hitting their lowest close since November 2009, while its affiliate Kia Motors Corp and its parts producer Mando Corp fell 4.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.

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"While chip shares and auto shares plunged, dragging down the Kospi index, compared to losses in the U.S. and Chinese markets, it wasn't bad," said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

The won was quoted at 1,125.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.25 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,128.6.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,125.8 per U.S. dollar, down 0.07 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,104.85 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.10 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.09 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 14.9 per cent so far this year, and down by 7.36 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 274,836,000 shares and, of the total 894 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 282.

Foreigners were net sellers of 255,869 million won worth of shares.

The U.S dollar has risen 5.57 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and the low is 1,146.26 on Oct 11.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 point to 108.79.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.936 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.94 per cent.

REUTERS