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Seoul: Stocks slump on US tech slide, won edges down

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index slumped on Tuesday. The Korean won was weaker against the US dollar after hitting a 3-1/2-year high on Monday while bond yields fell.

At 01.10 GMT, the Kospi was down 12.06 points or 0.49 per cent at 2,432.10. The benchmark index fell more than one per cent soon after the market opened, affected by a tech slide on Wall Street overnight. South Korea's major tech shares like SK Hynix fell as much as 3 per cent while Samsung Electronics was down 2.6 per cent.

LG Electronics, however, rose 1.4 per cent, outperforming the broader market, on high expectations for robust first-quarter earnings.

The won was quoted at 1,058.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.19 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,056.6.

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South Korea's currency authorities said there is no change in their stance to take actions in cases of high currency volatility after the Korean won hit a 3-1/2-year high on Monday.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,058.2 per US dollar, down 0.19 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,043.55 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.25 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.97 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.9 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.92 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 149,187,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 876, the number of advancing shares was 283.

Foreigners were net sellers of 53,220 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.77 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per US dollar on April 2, 2018 and the low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.04 point to 107.74.

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 2.21 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.23 per cent.

REUTERS