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Seoul: Stocks steady as institutions book profits; won down

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index ended flat on Friday due to offtake by institutions for profit taking, following a sharp rise of major stocks a day earlier. The South Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose. The Seoul stock market's main Kospi ended up 2.07 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 2,186.95 points. For the week, the main index gained 0.50 per cent.

The market is mixed, while institutions took profit from Thursday's rise in Samsung Electronics shares, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

The largest Kospi stock ended up 4.1 per cent a day earlier, its biggest rise since November last year.

Foreigners were net buyers of 245.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board, while local institutions were net seller of 305.7 billion won worth of shares.

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The Korea Exchange has suspended trading in shares of Asiana Airlines Inc, after an auditor for South Korea's second-biggest carrier said it lacked enough information to judge its value. The announcement sent its affiliates stocks plunging, with Asiana IDT closing down 14.2 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,130.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,127.7. The currency added 0.6 per cent on weekly basis.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,129.9 per US dollar, down 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,127.8 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.05 per cent, after US stocks rose. Japanese stocks rose 0.09 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 7.15 per cent so far this year, and fell 0.8 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 on the Kospi index was 291.43 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 301.

The won has lost 1.3 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 109.32, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7 basis point to 1.800 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 1.935 per cent. 

REUTERS