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Seoul: Stocks, won tumble on Fed rate hike

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index and the won tumbled on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a second time this year and indicated a slightly faster pace of rate increases in the coming months.

At 0631 GMT, the KOSPI was down 46.46 points or 1.88 per cent at 2,422.37. Shares of technology giant Samsung Electronics fell 2.4 per cent to 48,200 won, hitting the lowest since its 50:1 stock split in May. Shares of Hyundai Motor and Samsung Biologics also plunged 3.9 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,083.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.54 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,077.2. The currency marked the lowest since May 21.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,082.51 per US dollar, up 0.25 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,065.55 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.15 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.99 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 0.1 per cent so far this year, and has fallen 0.82 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 520,511,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 199. Foreign investors were net sellers of 523,381 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.51 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, while the low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.05 points to 107.89.

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

REUTERS