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Seoul: Stocks down; won strengthens to 4-week high

[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index weakened on Wednesday. The Korean won rose to a four-week closing high on the local platform while bond yields fell. At 0633 GMT, the KOSPI was down 6.16 points or 0.25 per cent at 2,472.37.

The won was quoted at 1,080.9 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.37 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,084.9. Sentiment for the currency got a fillip from gains in other Asian peers.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,080.1 per US dollar, up 0.42 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was transacted at 1,073.15 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.04 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.1 per cent.

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The KOSPI is up around 22.3 per cent so far this year, and down 2.63 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 228,367,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 341. Foreigners were net sellers of 307,466 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 10.46 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,075.71 per dollar on Nov 29, 2017 and low is 1,211.8 on Jan 3, 2017.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 points to 108.09. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was unchanged from a previous close of 1.66 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.084 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.10 per cent.

REUTERS