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Seoul: Stocks slump on chip worries; won ends at 2-week low

[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index weakened on Wednesday. The Korean won stepped down to a two-week closing low in the local platform while bond yields rose.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was down 10.48 points or 0.42 per cent at 2,499.75. The benchmark index was hit by investor worries about the chip sector after Samsung Electronics'December-quarter profit guidance fell short of expectations.

The won was quoted at 1,071.9 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.45 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,067.1.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,071.18 per US dollar, down 0.02 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,064.28 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.50 per cent. Japanese stocks weakened 0.26 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 1.7 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.06 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 440,082,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 502.

Foreigners were net sellers of 277,748 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 0.45 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,059 per dollar on Jan 8 and low is 1,072.95 on Jan 9.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.17 points to 107.67. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent, unchanged from its previous close, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.189 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.15 per cent.

REUTERS