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Seoul: Stocks extend gains, won edges up; steel shares rise

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South Korea's KOSPI stock index strengthened on Monday. The South Korean won and bond yields also rose.

[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index strengthened on Monday. The South Korean won and bond yields also rose. At 0630 GMT, the KOSPI closed 20.32 points, or 0.84 per cent, higher at 2,437.08. The benchmark index was supported by purchases from individual investors. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix were both up 1.1 per cent.

Steel sector also aided the benchmark index as it rose 1.7 per cent after the United States exempted South Korea from import tariffs. Posco gained 2 per cent, while Dongbu Steel jumped 6.9 per cent. The won was quoted at 1,081.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.1 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,082.2.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,079.61 per US dollar, up 0.3 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,064.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.10 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.72 per cent.

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The KOSPI is down around 2.1 per cent so far this year, and down by 1.49 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 303,483,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 888, the number of advancing shares was 553.

Foreigners were net sellers of 101,397 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 1.29 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 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.05 point to 107.6. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.242 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.22 per cent.

REUTERS