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Seoul: Stocks gain on large foreign purchases; won edges up

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index marked large gains on Friday, recouping previous losses, boosted by purchases from foreign investors and domestic institutions.

The won also rose while bond yields fell. At 0632 GMT, the Kospi was up 37.24 points or 1.54 per cent at 2,451.52. The index posted its biggest daily percentage gain since Oct 10. For the week, the index rose 1.2 percent.

The won was quoted at 1,079 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.49 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,084.3. The currency fell 0.2 per cent on a weekly basis.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,077.65 per US dollar, up 0.19 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,067.6 per US dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.06 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.72 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 2.2 per cent so far this year, and down by 3.82 percent in the previous 30 days.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won (S$1.52 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 295,960,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 534. Foreigners were net buyers of 155,388 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 1.06 percent against the won this year.

The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per US dollar on Jan. 14 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6. In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 points to 107.65.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.289 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.3 per cent.

REUTERS