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Seoul: Stocks fall on foreign selling, North Korea-related shares rally

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Monday on foreign selling, even as reconciliatory mood with North Korea boosted shares with exposure to inter-Korea cooperation projects. The Korean won weakened, while bond yields rose.

At 0254 GMT, the Kospi was down 4.51 points or 0.18 per cent at 2,471.82. South Korean shares with exposure to North Korea surged after Pyongyang said it will suspend nuclear and missile tests immediately and abolish a nuclear test site.

Shares of Shinwon Corp and Good People , which used to operate factories in the Kaesong industrial region near the demilitarised zone, surged 22 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, as of 0255 GMT.

The won was quoted at 1,068.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.11 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,067.3.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,067.57 per US dollar, up 0.24 per cent from the previous session, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,050.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.28 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.34 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 0.4 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.69 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 383,836,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 376.

Foreigners were net sellers of 195,727 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.11 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 1,098.4 on Feb. 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds dropped 0.09 points to 107.69.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent compared with a previous close of 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.223 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.20 per cent.

REUTERS