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South Korea: Stocks gain narrowly ahead of Fed decision, won edges down

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index gained a bit on Wednesday but the trading range was boxed in as investors remained cautious before Federal Reserve's rate decision. The Korean won inched lower and bond yields fell.

At 0055 GMT, the Kospi was up 2.22 points or 0.09 per cent at 2,487.74.

The won was quoted at 1,071.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.25 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,068.6.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,071 per US dollar, down 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,059.7 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 0.47 per cent.

The Kospi is up around 0.7 per cent so far this year, and up by 3.23 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 92,247,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 879, the number of advancing shares was 397.

Foreigners were net buyers of 7,338 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.43 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14, 2018, and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.04 points to 107.43.

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 2.275 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.29 per cent.