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Seoul: Stocks end higher on China stimulus expectations, won gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index climbed on Monday buoyed by a strong Chinese market. The won led gains in Asian currencies, while bond yields rose. At 0631 GMT, the Kospi was up 5.45 points or 0.25 per cent at 2,161.71.

Kospi rebounded in the morning as Chinese stocks surged on stimulus expectations, and expanded its upturn in the afternoon, said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

South Korean central bank chief Lee Ju-yeol said he will positively consider a rate hike at the November monetary meeting, unless the real economy shows big troubles. The Bank of Korea left its policy rate steady last week, pressured by fragile economic growth.

The won was quoted at 1,128.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.33 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,132.1. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,128.33 per US dollar, up 0.25 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,109.53 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.90 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.37 per cent. The Kospi is down around 12.6 per cent so far this year, and down by 7.17 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 303,503,000 shares and, of the total 897 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 379.

Foreigners were net sellers of 128,707 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 5.81 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and the low is 1,146.26 on Oct 11. In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.07 points to 108.48.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.008 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.99 per cent.

REUTERS