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Seoul: Stocks post worst monthly drop in 10 years

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index closed higher for a second consecutive session on Wednesday, but still posted its steepest monthly percentage decline in 10 years. The South Korean won was steady against dollar while bond yields rose. At 0630 GMT, the Kospi closed higher by 15.00 points or 0.74 per cent at 2,029.69.

The main index plunged 13.4 per cent in October, the sharpest monthly percentage drop since October 2008. The two-session rebound appears to be a technical recovery after recent sharp losses, said Kim Hyoung-ryoul, chief of research center at Kyobo Securities.

Shares of Samsung BioLogics closed down 2.6 per cent as South Korea's financial regulator began a review of the drugmaker's alleged violation of accounting rules. It is uncertain when the Financial Services Commission will announce the result.

Samsung Electronics closed up 0.1 per cent after the tech giant slashed 2018 capex on Wednesday and warned of lower profit until early next year, calling an end to a two-year boom in memory chips that fuelled record third-quarter profit.

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Foreigners turned net buyers of 134,139 million won worth of shares, after nine consecutive sessions of selling. For the month, foreigners posted net sales of Kospi shares worth nearly four trillion won, the biggest amount since August 2015.

The won was quoted at 1,139.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.04 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,139.2.

The Korean won dropped 2.7 againsttheĀ  dollar on monthly basis, after two months of gains. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,139.45 per US dollar, down 0.07 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,120.75 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.00 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 2.16 per cent. The Kospi is down around 18.4 per cent so far this year, and down by 11.76 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 366,579,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 898, the number of advancing shares was 655. The US dollar has risen 6.85 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, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 108.75. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.941 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.93 per cent.

REUTERS