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Seoul: Stocks, won rise to multi-week closing highs

[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index ended trade at a five-week high and the South Korean won at a six-week closing high on Monday on strong risk appetite after political tensions eased over the Korean peninsula while upbeat US stocks also lent some support.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI was up 24.67 points, or 1 per cent, at 2,484.12. The won was quoted at 1,065.2 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.43 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,069.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,064.63 per US dollar, up 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,055.1 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.28 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 1.65 per cent.

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The KOSPI is down around 0.3 per cent so far this year, and up by 3.04 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 384,438,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 654. Foreigners were net buyers of 197,701 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.2 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds held steady at 107.68. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.307 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.29 per cent.

REUTERS