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Seoul: Stocks rise, won edges up on last trading day of 2017

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index strengthened on Thursday. The Korean won also rose while bond yields fell. Thursday is this year's last trading day for the nation's financial markets. Market trading will resume on Jan 2, an hour later than usual time.

At 0128 GMT, the Kospi was up 19.89 points or 0.82 per cent at 2,456.56. Domestic institutions' heavy purchases before the year's close mainly drove the index up.

The won was quoted at 1,072.4 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.16 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,074.1.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,072.1 per US dollar, up 0.21 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,064.3 per US dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.42 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.05 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 20.2 per cent so far this year, and down by 3.56 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 67,460,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 875, the number of advancing shares was 497.

Foreigners were net sellers of 1,976 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 11.13 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,072.1 per US dollar on Dec. 28, 2017 and low is 1,211.8 on Jan. 3, 2017.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 points to 107.88.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate remained at 1.66 per cent, unchanged from the previous close, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.134 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.15 per cent.

REUTERS