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Seoul: Stocks fall over 1%; won edges down

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index extended losses on Wednesday, as trade tensions between the United States and China flared back again, while the won edged down on the local platform and bond yields fell.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was down 34.37 points or 1.41 per cent at 2,408.06, weighed down by US President Donald Trump administration's announcement about imposing 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion worth imports from China. Beijing's commerce ministry warned it was preparing countermeasures of equal intensity.

Hyundai group shares, however, outperformed the broader market after US hedge fund Elliott called for better corporate governance. Hyundai Mobis gained 3.5 per cent, while Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors rose 3 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,059.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.53 per cent weaker than its previous close of 1,054.2.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,058.83 per U.S. dollar, down 0.46 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,044.55 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.55 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.13 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 1 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.02 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 544,242,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 888, the number of advancing shares was 186.

Foreigners were net sellers of 197,981 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has fallen 0.7 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, while the low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 points to 107.86.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.176 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.19 per cent.

REUTERS