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South Korea: Stocks, won climb to multi-week highs on increased risk appetite

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose to a five-week high on Monday, while the Korean won hit a six-week high as risk appetite returned after political tensions over the Korean peninsula eased. Strong gains on Wall Street also supported sentiment.

At 0109 GMT, the Kospi was up 22.45 points or 0.91 per cent at 2,481.90. It was the highest intraday level since Feb 5.

The won was quoted at 1,064.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , which was the strongest intraday level since Jan 29 and 0.5 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,069.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,064.21 per US dollar, up 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,053.95 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.54 per cent, after US stocks gained in the previous session. Japanese stocks rose 2.09 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.3 per cent so far this year, but has risen 3.04 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 was 127,045,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 883, the number of advancing shares was 594.

Foreigner investors net bought 41,073 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.2 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year was 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan. 14 and low was 1,098.4 on Feb 6.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 107.69.

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 2.303 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.29 per cent.

REUTERS