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Seoul: Stocks, won edge up; BOK holds rates as expected

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged higher on Tuesday. The Korean won and bond yields also rose.

The Bank of Korea held its benchmark interest rates at 1.50 per cent due to muted inflationary pressure and caution ahead of any further monetary tightening in the United States.

At 0108 GMT, the Kospi was up 10.69 points or 0.43 per cent at 2,468.34.

The won was quoted at 1,069.5 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.36 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,073.4.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,069.51 per US dollar, up 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,057.55 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.44 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 1.03 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.4 per cent so far this year, and down 1.22 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 94,647,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 874, the number of advancing shares was 325.

Foreigners were net buyers of 12,512 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.31 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per US dollar on Jan 14 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 107.73.

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 2.265 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.26 per cent.

REUTERS