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Seoul: Stocks end 8-session losing streak; won rises

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index gained on Friday after eighth straight sessions of losses on robust China exports data, while the Korean won closed higher and bond yields also rose.

China's September exports data exceeded market expectation while media reports that the US Treasury staff has not labelled China as a currency manipulator also helped improve sentiment, Dai Jeong, an analyst at Meritz Securities said.

At 06.33 GMT, the Kospi was up 32.18 points or 1.51 per cent at 2,161.85. While the benchmark index snapped an eighth-day losing streak, it ended the week 4.7 per cent lower.

Shares of tech giant Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix led the gains. The won was quoted at 1,131.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 1.15 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,144.4. For the week, the currency edged down 0.1 per cent.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,131.53 per US dollar, up 0.27 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,114.4 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.98 per cent even though U.S. stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.46 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 13.7 per cent so far this year, and is down 6.70 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 288,607,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 654. Foreigners were net buyers of 70,012 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 6.11 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 1,146.26 on Oct 11 2018. In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.1 points to 108.25. The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.66 per cent while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.054 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.01 per cent.

REUTERS