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Seoul: Stocks rise on foreign buying, improved April factory data; won gains

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose on Thursday as foreigners stepped up purchases and on improved factory activity in April amid market holidays in Japan and China. The South Korean won strengthened, and the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi rose 9.16 points or 0.42 per cent to 2,212.75. Foreigners were net buyers of 63.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

South Korea's factory activity rebounded in April helped by a boost in hiring, snapping five months of contraction, a private manufacturing survey showed on Thursday.

South Korea April exports fell 2.0 pct y/y, less than forecast

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The won was quoted at 1,165.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,168.2. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,165.4 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,164.1 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.07 per cent, after US stocks fell.

The Kospi has risen 8.41 per cent so far this year, and gained 1.2 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

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 358.95 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 885, the number of advancing shares was 515.

The won has lost 4.3 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.15 point to 109.48, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose 2.9 basis points to 1.729 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield gained four basis points to 1.885 per cent.

REUTERS