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Seoul: Stocks end higher on progress in US-China trade talks

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed over 1 per cent higher on Tuesday as optimism around US-China trade talks boosted risk appetite. The won gained, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

China and the United States have achieved some progress in their trade talks, Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said, adding that as long as both sides respected each other, no problem could not be resolved. US President Donald Trump sounded upbeat on a China deal on Monday, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for December could be withdrawn if talks go well.

The Kospi ended up 24.02 points, or 1.16 per cent, at 2,088.86. During the session, the index rose to its highest since Sept 25.

The medical sub-index was the biggest percentage gainer, rising 2.6 per cent. Shares of Celltrion surged 5.2 per cent after the drugmaker announced clinical research results about its biosimilar Remsima SC, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst from Daishin Securities.

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Foreigners were net buyers of 76.3 billion won (S$88.7 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,169.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.20 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,172.0.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,169.0 per US dollar, up 0.3 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,169.0 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.48 per cent, after US stocks closed firmer.

The Kospi has risen 2.34 per cent so far this year, and gained 5 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 495.95 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 896, the number of advancing shares was 492.

The won has lost 4.6 per cent against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.11 point to 110.42, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.36 per cent.

The most liquid three-year South Korean treasury bond yield fell by 2.6 basis points to 1.381 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.4 basis points to 1.655 per cent.

REUTERS