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Seoul: Stocks climb on improved risk appetite; won edges higher

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index ended up on Tuesday on rising risk appetite by eased political uncertainties from the United States, while hope for possible summit between the world's two largest economies persists. The Korean won and bond yields also rose. The Kospi ended up 9.74 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 2,190.47.

Asian markets were upbeat following a media report about a possible summit between the United States and China, as well as the news that US lawmakers reached a tentative deal to avoid government shutdown, according to analysts at Mirae Asset Daewoo. Gains in electric shares also buoyed the market, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix adding 2.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,123.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.07 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,124.7. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,123.28 per US dollar, up 0.15 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,106.55 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.32 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 2.61 per cent.

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The Kospi is up around 6.8 per cent so far this year, and up by 5.78 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions. 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 390.97 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 414.

Foreigners were net sellers of 125.93 billion won worth of shares on the main board. The US dollar has risen 0.9 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,108.67 per dollar on Jan 31, 2019 and low is 1,133.4 on Jan 21, 2019.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 point to 109.32. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.86 per cent, while the most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.797 per cent, higher than 1.781 per cent last quoted on the previous session.

REUTERS