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Seoul: Stocks steady; foreigners buy for 7th session


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index remained steady on Thursday with no fresh risks, while Brexit uncertainties remained and Beijing plans to inject masses of cash into its financial system. The Korean won fell while bond yields also fell.

Country's major companies such as SK Hynix and Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors are expected to release their 2018 annual results next week.

China's central bank said it will make another big cash injection through open market operations on Thursday, following its biggest-ever net liquidity injection a day earlier.

China's Premier Li Keqiang from a state radio said on Wednesday the country must prepare for difficulties this year as the economy faces increasing pressure, adding that the government will boost investment in public services and infrastructure and expand consumption.

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At 0633 GMT, the KOSPI closed up 0.96 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,107.06. The benchmark index gained for the third session.

Shares of South Korean publisher Samsung Publishing Co Ltd surged 11.1 pct, hitting its record high intraday, after local media reported that its affiliate SmartStudy, which created the viral song "Baby Shark," is preparing for IPO.

The won was quoted at 1,122.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,120.1.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,122.23 per US dollar, down 0.22 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,105.45 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.04 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.2 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 3.2 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.44 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 464,810,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 303.

Foreigners were net buyers of 230,822 million won worth of shares. They were net buyers for a 7th consecutive session, marking the longest streak since late August 2018.

The U.S dollar has risen 0.8 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,113.81 per dollar on January 11 2019 and low is 1,130.05 on January 3 2019.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 points to 109.31.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.86 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.794 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.81 per cent.