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Seoul: Stocks inch up, bond yields rebound from 10-month low

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index edged higher on Wednesday tracking overnight gains on Wall Street as the S&P 500 index touched an all-time high. Bond yields rebounded from a 10-month low hit on Tuesday, while the Korean won weakened marginally.

At 01:19 GMT, the KOSPI was up 4.95 points or 0.22 percent at 2,275.01.

Shares of STX Corp and affiliates STX Engine and STX Heavy Industries posted double-digit percentage gains after STX Corp said on Tuesday it had ended a creditor-led debt restructuring program.

Shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix extended gains from the previous session, adding about 2 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, buoyed by robust chip exports.

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In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 points to 108.72. 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 1.95 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.92 per cent.

On Tuesday, yield of 3-year treasury bond hit the lowest since October after an official from the President's office said the Bank of Korea was in no rush to follow the United States in dialling back crisis-mode policies.

The yield of 10-year treasury bond hovered around 2.37 per cent on Wednesday, the lowest since September 2017.

The won was quoted at 1,119.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.1 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,118.4.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,117.9 per US dollar, down 0.13 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,099.8 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.3 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 8.0 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 (S$1.5 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 97,187,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 311.

Foreigners were net buyers of 78,059 million won worth of shares.

The U.S. dollar has risen 4.83 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 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018.

REUTERS