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Seoul: Stocks dip as trade uncertainties remain, won hits 5-1/2 month high

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index sagged on Tuesday amid uncertainty over whether China and the U.S. will be able to resolve their trade differences. The won jumped, hitting its highest since June, tracking the Chinese yuan. South Korean bond yields fell.

At 0633 GMT, the Kospi closed down 17.58 points or 0.82 per cent at 2,114.35. Tech shares including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix towed losses on the chip market's dim outlook.

The won was quoted at 1,105.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.49 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,110.7. The currency hit the highest since June, extending its gain to a second session.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,106.2 per US dollar, up 0.21 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,087.9 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.27 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks weakened 2.39 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 13.6 per cent so far this year, and up by 1.38 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 498,735,000 shares and, of the total 895 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 393.

Foreigners were net buyers of 123,328 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 3.74 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and the low is 1,146.26 on Oct. 11.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 point to 108.92.

The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.9 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.914 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.93 per cent.

REUTERS