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Seoul: Stocks end 3-day losing streak; won falls


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged higher on Monday, ending a three-day losing streak. The South Korean won sagged while bond yields also fell. At 0632 GMT, the Kospi was up 7.09 points or 0.31 per cent at 2,288.67, snapping three consecutive sessions of declines. Despite escalating trade tensions, it seems investors realistically did not see much possibility of the United States imposing additional tariffs on China, said Han Ji-young, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

Shares of some South Korean companies surge on hopes of higher demand for their products after the country confirmed a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers). Shares in Gene One Life Science Inc, engaged in the research, development and manufacture of DNA vaccines for MERS, skyrocketed nearly 30 per cent, while mask producers Okong Corp and Welcron Co Ltd surged 30 per cent and 20.1 per cent, respectively.

South Korea's construction shares climbed on hopes of higher housing supplies from the government plan to announce a revised housing policy by next week at the latest. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co Ltd jumped as much as 7.9 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively. The sub-index for construction industry edged up 6.4 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,128.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.5 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,122.8, marking the fourth loss in five sessions. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,128.85 per US dollar, down 0.11 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,111.3 per dollar. 

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.92 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.3 per cent. The KOSPI is down around 7.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.33 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. 

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The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 304,913,000 shares and, of the total 897 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 473. Foreigners were net buyers of 112,154 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 5.86 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 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds remained flat to 108.94. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.917 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.92 per cent.


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