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Seoul: Stocks, won fall as US bond yields weigh


[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index declined for a fourth straight session on Wednesday as U.S. bond yields rose above 3 per cent and as foreign investors largely sold off their holdings in equities. The Korean won fell while bond yields rose.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was down 15.35 points or 0.62 per cent, at 2,448.79. The won was quoted at 1,080.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.35 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,076.8. The currency hovered at its four-week closing low.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,080.1 per U.S. dollar, down 0.36 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,065.15 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.78 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.28 per cent. The KOSPI is down around 0.1 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.22 per cent in the past 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 ($1.15 trillion).

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The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 455,220,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 282.

Foreigners were net sellers of 762,616 million won worth of shares. It was the biggest net selling amount since June 2013.

The US dollar has risen 1.29 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 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.07 points to 107.6.

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 2.247 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.23 per cent.