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Seoul: Stocks climb on foreign buying, won gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index extended gains on Monday as foreign investors piled in on electronics firms such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. The Korean won strengthened and the benchmark bond yield also rose. The Seoul stock market's main Kospi rose 10.65 points or 0.52 per cent to 2,052.39 points.

Foreigners were net buyers of 142.9 billion won (S$166 million) worth of shares on the main board.

South Korea's Samsung Engineering falls after legal dispute over cancellation of Saudi's Yanbu project. The won was quoted at 1,183.2 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.65 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,190.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,183.3 per US dollar, up 0.4 per cent from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,182.1 per US dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.04 per cent, after US stocks fell. Japanese stocks dropped 1.13 per cent.

The Kospi rose 0.56 per cent so far this year, and lost 9.1 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions. The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 per cent, and the market cap is 1,242.04 trillion won. The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 192.82 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 314.

The won lost 5.7 per cent against the US dollar so far this year. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds dipped 0.02 points to 110.01. The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.6 basis point to 1.581 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by one basis point to 1.692 per cent.

REUTERS