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Seoul: Stocks fall as institutions sell; won drops

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index fell on Monday as institutions cut their exposure to riskier assets, while the Korean won weakened against dollar and bond yields rose. At 0631 GMT, the KOSPI was down 16.73 points or 0.77 per cent at 2,145.12.

"Institutional selloff weighed on the market," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities. Institutions were net seller of 354,891 million won worth of shares, according to exchange data. Most heavyweights ended lower; SK Hynix lost nearly 3 per cent while Celltrion and Samsung Biologics slipped 4.7 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

South Korea's biggest carmaker Hyundai Motor slipped 1.7 per cent on murky outlook, marking its lowest trading level since March 2010.

The won was quoted at 1,134.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.26 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,131.4.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,134.32 per US dollar, down 0.36 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,116.85 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.09 per cent after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks weakened 1.87 per cent. The Kospi is down around 12.4 per cent so far this year, and is down by 5.73 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 255,811,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 899, the number of advancing shares was 309. Foreigners were net buyers of 22,752 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 6.37 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 1,146.26 on Oct 11 2018. In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 108.28. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.056 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.05 per cent.

REUTERS