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Seoul: Stocks end flat amid US-China trade talks; won steady

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index ended nearly flat on Friday, as investors mulled an uncertain economic backdrop and stayed cautious amid US-China trade negotiations. The Korean won held steady, while the benchmark bond yield was unchanged.

The Seoul stock market's main index rose 1.84 points or 0.08 per cent to 2,230.50 points. The index gained 1.6 per cent for the week.

Foreigners were net sellers of four billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,125.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, steady from its previous close at 1,125.2.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,125.2 per U.S. dollar, down 0.0 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,124.3 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.19 per cent, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4 per cent due to a deteriorating economic outlook. Japanese stocks fell 0.18 per cent. The Kospi has risen 9.28 per cent so far this year, and rose 9.4 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 401.74 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 366.

The won has lost 0.8 per cent against the U.S dollar this year so far.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 109.21.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.89 per cent, while the most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.815 per cent, higher than 1.811 per cent quoted in the previous session.

REUTERS