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Seoul: Stocks climb on tech rally, won subdued

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose on Friday. The Korean won ended flat in the local platform and bond yields fell.

At 0632 GMT, the Kospi was up 31.06 points or 1.26 per cent at 2,497.52. The benchmark index strengthened on foreign investors' heavy purchases, especially in the tech sector where robust fourth-quarter earnings are expected. The Kospi gained 1.2 per cent for the week, its biggest weekly percentage gain since early November.

The won was quoted at 1,062.7 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.05 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,062.2. The currency rose 0.7 per cent on a weekly basis, marking four consecutive weeks of gains.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,061.42 per US dollar, down 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,054.92 per US dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.39 percent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains.

Japanese stocks rose 0.89 per cent. The Kospi is down by 2.42 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 (S$1.55 trillion).

The trading volume during Friday's session on the Kospi index was 305,294,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 493. Foreigners were net buyers of 246,063 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.46 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,060.35 per US dollar on Jan 2, 2018 and low is 1,068.3 on Jan 4, 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.07 points to 107.93. The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.105 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.14 per cent.

REUTERS