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Seoul: Stocks rise on foreign buying in electronics firms; won weakens

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index inched up on Friday on foreign buying worth 206 billion won (S$238.3 million) mainly in electronics firms, after impact from rebalancing in MSCI EM indices cooled down. The South Korean won weakened, and the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI rose 2.94 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,041.74. For the week, the Kospi lost 0.17 per cent; for the month, it fell 7.34 per cent.

Shares in South Korean auto industry tumbled after US President Donald Trump threatened higher tariffs on all goods from Mexico until illegal immigration is stopped. Mexico is a regional manufacturing hub for some of South Korean car and parts makers. Foreigners were net buyers of 206.1 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,190.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.18 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,188.8. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,190.2 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,189.6 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.22 per cent, after US stocks up. Japanese stocks fell 1.63 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 0.03 per cent so far this year, and lost 9.3 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 426.55 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 894, the number of advancing shares was 484.

The won has lost 6.3 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.18 points to 110.03, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 3.9 basis points to 1.587 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 5.9 basis points to 1.682 per cent. 

REUTERS