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Seoul: Stocks snap 3-day rally; Powell's speech in focus

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares snapped a three-day rally on Thursday as investors remained cautious ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's speech on Friday, after minutes from the US central bank's July meeting cast doubt on aggressive rate cuts. The South Korean won weakened, and the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi fell 13.64 points or 0.69 per cent to 1,951.01 points.

Foreigners were net sellers of 122.5 billion won worth of shares on the main board. The won was quoted at 1,207.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.41 per cent lower than its previous close.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,207.1 per US dollar, down 0.5 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,206.1 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.53 per cent. Japanese stocks rose 0.05 per cent.

The Kospi has fallen 4.41 per cent so far this year, and lost 4.3 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

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 in the Kospi index was 427.29 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 301.

The won has lost 7.6 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.11 point to 111.29, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.49 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield slipped 0.9 basis point to 1.145 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell 3.4 basis points to 1.243 per cent. 

REUTERS