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Seoul: Shares rise on trade hopes; medical stocks jump

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares ticked up on Tuesday, led by medical stocks on Celltrion's supply deal, while hopes of an improvement in Sino-US trade relations also boosted investor sentiment. The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi closed up 9.37 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 2,072.42.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed reports that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges as "fake news," giving short-term players an excuse to buy back risk assets.

The medical sub-index led the gains with a 4.6 per cent rise, after Celltrion said it won a supply deal worth US$71.85 million. Shares of Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics gained more than 5 per cent each.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 156.8 billion won (S$180.34 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,199.0 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.23 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,196.2.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,199.1 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,198.0 per US dollar.

The Kospi has risen 1.54 per cent so far this year, and gained 6.4 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 381.58 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 888, the number of advancing shares was 506.

REUTERS