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Seoul: Stocks slip driven by auto shares; won falters

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Monday as major auto shares like Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors marked losses after US regulators opened a probe to look into airbag failure in vehicles from those companies.

The Korean won edged down against the US dollar and bond yields also fell.

At 06:32 GMT, the Kospi was down 18.94 points, or 0.76 per cent, at 2,475.03.

The won was quoted at 1,071.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.5 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,066.2.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,070.75 per US dollar, down 0.11 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,059.8 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.33 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.9 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 1.1 per cent so far this year, and up by 2.87 per cent in the past 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 (S$1.53 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 471,371,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 275.

Foreigners were net sellers of 83,374 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.41 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per US dollar on Jan 14, 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 point to 107.85.

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 2.274 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.28 per cent.

REUTERS