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South Korea: Stocks edge down, won slips

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Wednesday.

The Korean won lost ground in the local platform as the dollar gained in the global markets, while bond yields rose.

At 01:14 GMT, the Kospi was down 7.71 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 2,507.67.

Shares of railroad industry-related companies such as Hyundai Rotem and Daea TI jumped more than 20 per cent, continuing their rally on the political thaw in the Korean peninsula.

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North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that blared propaganda across their heavily fortified border on Tuesday, as promised last week.

SK Innovation shares rose 5.1 per cent as the company decides to buy back treasury stocks worth of 1 trillion won.

The won was quoted at 1,074.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.61 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,068.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,073.9 per US dollar, down 0.13 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,056.35 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.02 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.2 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 1.9 per cent so far this year, and up 1.63 per cent in the past 30 days.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, 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 320,509,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 876, the number of advancing shares was 445.

Foreigners were net sellers of 9,336 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.7 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and low is 1,098.4 on February 6.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.05 points to 107.68.

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 2.239 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.22 per cent.

REUTERS