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Seoul: Stocks extend gains into 6th session on trade talk optimism

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed higher for a sixth straight session on Friday, supported by expectations that the United States and China could sign a trade deal soon, though Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's tepid first-quarter profit weighed on the market. The won was almost steady, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

Samsung Electronics said first-quarter operating profit likely slid 60 per cent from a year earlier, missing market expectations and putting it on track for its weakest quarterly profit since late 2016.

The Kospi stock index rose 3.08 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,209.61.

For the week, the index gained 3.22 per cent, the biggest since mid-January. Positive China and US manufacturing data, and optimism around Sino-US trade talks helped Soth Korean stocks this week, said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

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Foreigners were net buyers of 99.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,136.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.03 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,136.3.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,136.5 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,135.5 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.07 per cent, after US stocks mixed. Japanese stocks rose 0.38 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 8.26 per cent so far this year, and fell 1.0 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 511.71 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 452.

The won has lost 1.8 per cent against the U.S dollar this year. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.07 point to 109.52, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.87 per cent. 

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.5 basis points to 1.735 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.3 basis points to 1.890 per cent. 

REUTERS