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Seoul: Stocks, won lower; central bank meetings, US data eyed

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won weakened on Monday ahead of key central bank meetings and US inflation and payrolls data. The US Federal Reserve meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates while reaffirming its outlook for further gradual rises. South Korean bond yields rose.

At 0630 GMT, the Kospi was down 1.48 points or 0.06 per cent at 2,293.51. South Korean sub-index for electric and electronics dipped 1 per cent, leading the losses. Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics tumbled 0.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.

Conglomerate Hyundai Group companies and affiliates closed higher after North Korea accepted the company's request to visit North Korea. Hyundai Rotem and Hyundai Elevator Co Ltd jumped as much as 7 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively, while Hyundai Corp climbed 4.4 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,120.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.19 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,118.1. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,119.93 per US dollar, down 0.47 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,103.2 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.49 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.74 per cent.

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The KOSPI is down around 7.0 per cent so far this year, and down by 4.54 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 202,744,000 shares and, of the total 895 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 485. Foreigners were net buyers of 134,719 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 5.02 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 the low is 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 108.03. 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 2.13 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.11 per cent. 

REUTERS