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Seoul: Stocks flat; won skids on renewed North Korea tensions

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won fell after North Korea threatened to cancel a summit with the United States and scrapped planned inter-Korea talks on Wednesday, casting doubts over its pledge to denuclearise the Korean peninsula. The Kospi index remained flat. 

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was up 1.28 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,459.82. Tech shares traded higher, with Samsung Electronics rising 1.32 per cent and LG Electronics edging up 0.31 per cent. Steelmakers fell, with POSCO declining 2 per cent and Hyundai Steel down 5.8 per cent. 

The won was quoted at 1,077.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.35 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,073.8.  In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,076.99 per US dollar, up 0.28 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,061.3 per dollar. 

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.25 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.44 per cent.

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The KOSPI is down around 0.4 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.52 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 658,999,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 196. Foreigners were net sellers of 4,939 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1 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 rose 0.04 points to107.49. The South Korean three-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 three-year South Korean treasury bond yielded 2.30 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.31 per cent.

REUTERS

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