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Seoul: Stocks edge up; won slips

[SEOUL] South Korean won slumped against the US dollar on Wednesday after peaking to a more than three-year closing high in the previous session.

The government is considering measures to boost capital outflows if the won continues to rise sharply, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

South Korea's central bank chief also stressed that the bank is watching the won/dollar movement very closely.

The won rose 12.8 per cent against the greenback in 2017.

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South Korea's KOSPI stock index rose on Wednesday. The Korean won weakened and bond yields also fell. At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was up 6.70 points or 0.27 per cent at 2,486.35.

The won was quoted at 1,064.5 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.31 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,061.2. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,064.3 per US dollar, down 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,056.25 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.36 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. The KOSPI is up around 0.5 per cent this year, and up by 2.18 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 327,334,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 879, the number of advancing shares was 401.

Foreigners were net buyers of 399,831 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has fallen 0.19 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,060.35 per dollar on Jan 2, and low is 1,067.5, on the same day.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.03 points to 107.97. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.112 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.12 per cent.

REUTERS