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Seoul: Stocks flat as Fed view fuels anxiety; won rises

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index closed little changed on Friday as jitters across the globe over a potential US government shutdown and further hikes in US borrowing costs curbed risk appetite. The Korean won and bond yields rose.

At 0633 GMT, the KOSPI was up 1.37 points or 0.07 per cent at 2,061.49. The benchmark index fell 0.4 per cent on a weekly basis, marking its third straight losing week.

The won was quoted at 1,122.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.48 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,127.8. For the week, the currency rose 0.7 per cent, marking the biggest weekly gain since Nov 30.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,122.41 per US dollar, down 0.06 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,104.65 per dollar.

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Local institutions were net buyers of 495,982 million won worth of shares, while foreigners were net sellers of 226,067 million won worth of shares.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.31 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.11 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 16.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 1.55 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 304,921,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 894, the number of advancing shares was 381.

The US dollar has risen 5.26 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, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.17 points to 109.17.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.9 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.84 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.80 per cent.

REUTERS