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Seoul: Stocks edge down; won holds steady

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index weakened on Thursday. The Korean won held steady, while bond yields fell.

The Bank of Korea kept its interest rate unchanged at its May policy meeting, which was largely shrugged off by the market as it was pretty much expected.

At 0633 GMT, the KOSPI was down 5.90 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 2,466.01. Hyundai Motor Group's shares slumped on US President Donald Trump's comment that he is considering tariff impose on auto imports. Kia Motors fell 2.8 per cent, while Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis slumped 3.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively. 

The won was quoted at 1,079.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.1 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,080.7.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,078.49 per US dollar, down 0.21 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,061.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.07 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 1.11 per cent. 

The KOSPI is up around 0.2 per cent so far this year, and down by 1.74 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 630,651,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 886, the number of advancing shares was 255. Foreigners were net buyers of 32,000 million won worth of shares. ** The U.S dollar has risen 1.14 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 1,098.4 on Feb. 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.12 points to 107.88. The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.187 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.24 per cent.

REUTERS

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