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Seoul: Stocks, won drop on foreign selling; bond yields inch up

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index fell on Monday, amid muted broader Asian peers, as foreign investors trimmed their equity exposure. The South Korean won fell modestly while bond yields inched up. At 0630 GMT, the Kospi was down 4.19 points or 0.18 per cent at 2,338.88 while junior Kospi was down 0.7 per cent to 816.53.

South Korea's top three entertainment companies rose as investors bet on K-pop gaining further global popularity, with JYP Entertainment hitting a new high.

Shares of South Korean companies exposed to China were up on Chinese National Day holiday, as more Chinese tourists are expected to flock to Seoul. South Korea's exports were seen robust down the road, even though they fell 8.2 per cent, the sharpest in over two years, due to fewer working days.

The won was quoted at 1,111.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.22 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,109.3. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,111.52 per US dollar, down 0.14 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,094.9 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.29 per cent after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.52 per cent. 

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The Kospi is down around 5.0 per cent so far this year, and up by 4.21 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 272,609,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 899, the number of advancing shares was 352. Foreigners were net sellers of 60,929 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 4.23 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 2018 and low is 1,140.4 on July 19 2018. In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 points to 108.32. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.02 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.01 per cent. 

REUTERS