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Seoul: Stocks, won weaken amid Turkey, China concerns

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Thursday tracking declines in Chinese market, while fears of the Turkey crisis and an economic slowdown in China dented investor sentiment. The South Korean won inched lower in line with China's yuan, while bond yields also fell. The KOSPI ended down 18.11 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 2,240.80. The slump in the South Korean market was towed by the nation's chipmaker Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix , pressured by tech stock losses in the United States and China, including Tencent.

Hyundai Motor closed 2.9 per cent up on its robust sales in China, while other large cap stocks were feeble.

Shares of South Korean companies with exposure to the North also gained after the South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday he aimed to begin construction of an inter-Korean railway this year.

The won was quoted at 1,130.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.19 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,127.9. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,130.24 per US dollar, up 0.24 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,114.05 per dollar. 

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.33 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.05 per cent. The KOSPI is down around 8.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.61 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 309,355,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 341.

Foreigners were net sellers of 242,060 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 5.99 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 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018. In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.04 points to 108.36. 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 2.055 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.07 per cent.

REUTERS

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