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Seoul: Stocks end higher as investors shrug off trade woes; won drops

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The Kospi ended up 0.66 points or 0.03 per cent at 2,357.88. South Korean steelmaker Posco ended 3 per cent higher on positive expectations towards the new leadership after the company selected its final candidate to lead the company on Saturday.

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index ended higher on Monday as investors shrugged off persistent concerns of a trade spat between the world's two biggest economies, while the Korean won slipped by nearly 0.9 per cent. Bond yields edged higher.

The Kospi ended up 0.66 points or 0.03 per cent at 2,357.88. South Korean steelmaker Posco ended 3 per cent higher on positive expectations towards the new leadership after the company selected its final candidate to lead the company on Saturday.

The US Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25 per cent Chinese ownership from buying US companies involved in "industrially significant technology", The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed 1.27 per cent lower, while SK Hynix ended down 5.3 per cent, marking its biggest percentage loss since March on lean earnings forecast.

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The won was quoted at 1,117.2 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.88 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,107.4, hitting the lowest since Nov 2017.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,116.03 per US dollar, down 0.45 per cent from the previous session, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,099.95 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.84 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.79 per cent.

The Kospi dropped 4.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 3.78 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 407,061,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 886, the number of advancing shares was 531.

Foreigners were net sellers of 112,448 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 4.66 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per US dollar on April 2, 2018, and low is 1,117.8 on June 25, 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 points to 107.94.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.15 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.15 per cent.

REUTERS