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South Korea: Stocks hit 7-week top as Fed stance not as hawkish as expected

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index surged to a seven-week high on Thursday and the Korean won strengthened as the US Federal Reserve raised interest rate as expected and signalled two more rate increases this year, in a move that was seen as less hawkish than anticipated.

At 01.25 GMT, the Kospi was up 21.45 points or 0.86 per cent at 2,506.42.

The won was quoted at 1,065.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.61 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,072.3.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,065.9 per US dollar, down 0.16 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,052.8 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.49 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses . Japanese stocks rose 0.78 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 0.7 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.60 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 163,192,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 882, the number of advancing shares was 469.

Foreigners were net buyers of 114,777 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.04 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on January 14 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on February 6 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.08 points to 107.49.

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

rEUTERS