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Seoul: Stocks fall dragged by Hyundai Motor Group; won rises

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index edged down on Thursday, due to losses in Hyundai Motor Group shares. Both Korean won and bond yields rose.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI closed down 6.60 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 2,069.95.

Hyundai Motor Group shares tumbled following a Reuters report that US prosecutors are investigating if Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors' vehicle recalls over engine defects were conducted properly. Shares of both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors closed down more than 5 per cent, while the company's parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis closed 8.7 per cent lower.

Shares of Samsung C&T ended down 6.0 per cent to an all-time low on lingering concerns over the audit into the company, after the financial regulator took a disciplinary action on its unit, Samsung BioLogics, on Nov. 14.

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The won was quoted at 1,129.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,131.6.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,129.9 per U.S. dollar, down 0.25 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,109.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.18 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with gains ahead of its thanksgivings holiday. Japanese stocks rose 0.65 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 15.8 per cent so far this year, and down by 6.82 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 237,048,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 249.

Foreigners were net sellers of 44,732 million won worth of shares, extending its selloff to an eighth session.

The US dollar has risen 5.96 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 0.02 points to 108.76.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.948 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.95 per cent.

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