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South Korea: Stocks edge down, won flat; BOK holds rate as expected


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Thursday. The Korean won held flat to the US dollar in the local platform, while bond yields fell.

The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady for a sixth straight month on Thursday, with inflation seen remaining below target and trade frictions between the United States and China raising fears of collateral damage to other export-reliant Asian economies.

At 0147 GMT, the Kospi was down 11.25 points or 0.46 per cent at 2,460.66.

Shares of Hyundai Motor Group declined after U.S. President Donald Trump said he is considering to impose tariff on auto imports. Kia Motors Corp tumbled as much as 3.7 per cent to its lowest since April 30. Hyundai Motor Co and Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd were down 2 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,080.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.01 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,080.7.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,081.37 per US dollar, down 0.48 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,065.05 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.19 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 1.26 per cent.

The Kospi climbed around 0.2 per cent so far this year, and dropped 1.74 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 313,902,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 883, the number of advancing shares was 258.

Foreigners were net buyers of 12,418 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.41 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 this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.12 points to 107.87.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.189 per cent, lower than the previous session's 2.24 per cent.


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