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South Korea: Stocks reverse early losses, won strengthens


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index recovered from early losses on Wednesday to settle in positive territory later in the session. The Korean won was stronger against the dollar in the local platform, while bond yields fell.

At 0156 GMT, the Kospi was up 1.31 points or 0.05 per cent at 2,466.88.

South Korea's major chipmaker SK Hynix hit a nearly 17-year intraday high after rising more than 5 per cent as it started a supply deal to NVIDIA Corp. This largely improved market sentiment, sending the sub-index for electric and electricity shares up 3.2 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,078.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.68 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,085.4. The currency was supported by strong stock purchases among foreign investors, while the dollar weakened a bit in the global markets.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,078.4 per US dollar, down 0.27 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,061.45 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.13 per cent, after US stocks ended lower in the previous session. Japanese stocks weakened by 1.17 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.1 per cent so far this year, and slid 1.15 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 364,255,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 230.

Foreigners were net buyers of 184,891 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.13 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 0.05 points to 107.73.

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 2.234 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.25 per cent.


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