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South Korea: Stocks edge lower, won flat

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index moved in and out of negative territory early on Thursday, while the Korean won was muted against the dollar on the local platform and bond yields rose.

At 01:48 GMT, the Kospi was down 2.75 points or 0.11 per cent at 2,502.86.

Hyundai Rotem dropped as much as 14.1 per cent in early trade after IFR reported that a Morgan Stanley unit sold the co's shares in a block deal to raise up to 214 billion won.

The won was quoted at 1,077 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.08 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,076.1.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,076.6 per US dollar, up 0.21 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being traded at 1,059.15 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.40 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses.

The Kospi is up around 1.5 per cent so far this year, and has risen 0.81 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 322,083,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 873, the number of advancing shares was 356.

Foreigners were net sellers of 134,173 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.96 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 Feb 6.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds held steady at 107.67.

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 2.24 per cent.

REUTERS