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Seoul: Stocks edge up; won benefits from strong yuan


[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index rose on Friday. The Korean won extended gains in the local platform while bond yields fell. At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was up 4.45 points or 0.18 per cent at 2,520.26. For the week, the benchmark index rose 0.95 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,065.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.45 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,070.7. The currency was buoyed by strong Chinese yuan. On a weekly basis, however, the won edged down 0.1 per cent. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,064.46 per U.S. dollar, up 0.49 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,056.6 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.40 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.19 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 2.0 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.57 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 345,210,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 547. Foreigners were net sellers of 83,863 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has fallen 0.18 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14 2018 and low is 1,073.2 on Jan 11 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 107.77. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, unmoved from its previous close, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.169 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.17 per cent.

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