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Seoul: Stocks cut losses on institutional buying; won down 0.5%

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index erased earlier losses to close slightly lower on Wednesday on institutional buying. The won weakened 0.5 per cent against the dollar, while bond yields gained. The Kospi closed 6.03 points, or 0.29 per cent, lower at 2,076.55. Earlier in the session, it declined nearly 1.6 per cent following a selloff on Wall street in the previous session.

The market snapped some of its early losses as institutions bought, said Han Ji-young, an analyst with Cape Investment & Securities.

Local institutions were net buyers of 294.8 billion won worth of shares. South Korea's exports from Nov 1 to 20 rose 5.7 per cent in annual terms, while imports grew 12.8 per cent, according to the customs agency.

The won was quoted at 1,131.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.51 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,125.8.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,130.96 per US dollar, down 0.15 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,109.85 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.31 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.35 per cent. The Kospi is down around 15.6 per cent so far this year, and down by 7.60 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 262,007,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 894, the number of advancing shares was 433.

Foreigners were net sellers of 415,159 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 6.05 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, 2018 and low is 1,146.26 on Oct 11, 2018.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 point to 108.75. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark three-year South Korean treasury bond yielded 1.946 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.94 per cent.

REUTERS