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Seoul: Stocks slide to over 4-month low on foreign selling; won up

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index dropped more than 2 per cent to close at over four-month lows on Wednesday, extending a losing streak since Thursday. The Korean won rose on the local platform while bond yields fell.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was down 56.75 points or 2.31 per cent at 2,396.56. Investor anxiety heightened on losses in China's share market, resulting in over 700 billion won worth of selling from domestic institutions, said Lee Kyung-min, a stock analyst at Daishin Securities.

Mr Lee also said the fact that Thursday is KOSPI option maturity date may have kept investors cautious. The won was quoted at 1,086.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.45 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,091.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,086.17 per dollar, down 0.66 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,076.05 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was steady, after U.S. stocks rebounded in the previous session. Japanese stocks rose 0.16 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 0.6 per cent so far this year, and off 0.97 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 452,554,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 883, the number of advancing shares was 193.

Foreigners were net sellers of 190,808 million won worth of shares. The dollar has risen 1.85 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on January 14 and low is 1,098.4 on February 6.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 points to 107.66. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.248 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.25 per cent.

REUTERS

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