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Seoul: Stocks rebound, won steady; steel shares jump

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index shed earlier losses on Monday. The Korean won barely moved, while bond yields rose.

At 0147GMT, the Kospi was up 3.5 points or 0.14 per cent at 2,420.26. The benchmark index turned to positive territory as market heavyweight Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix made a rebound, after dropping nearly 2 per cent in earlier trade.

Steelmakers are giving support as they rose ahead of a possible trade deal between Seoul and Washington. Dongbu Steel shares surged as much as 21.8 per cent and Husteel shares jumped 7.3 per cent, while Seah Steel rose 5.5 per cent. The sub-index for iron, steel, and metal shares was up 2.2 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,081.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.06 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,082.2.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,081.3 per US dollar, up 0.14 percent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards , it was being transacted at 1,065.95 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 per cent after US stocks ended the previous session with losses . Japanese stocks weakened 0.95 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 2.1 per cent so far this year, and down by 1.49 per cent in the previous 30 days.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.1, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won (S$1.51 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 145,764,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 883, the number of advancing shares was 403.

Foreigners were net sellers of 85,333 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.4 per cent 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, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 107.66.

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 2.227 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.22 per cent.

REUTERS