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Seoul: Stocks fall; China delegation's likely US visit spurs trade talk hopes


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index ended lower on Tuesday, after recovering some of its early losses on hopes that a Chinese delegation will visit the United States, soothing escalated US-China trade worries to an extent after Washington prepared to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

The South Korean won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. The Seoul stock market's benchmark Kospi fell 19.33 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 2,176.99 at close, after falling as much as 1.63 per cent in during the day.

China's commerce ministry said on Tuesday Vice-Premier Liu He will visit the United States on May 9 and May 10 for bilateral trade talks at the invitation of senior US officials. Market sentiment slightly recovered on a report that Mr Liu is joining the trade talks but investors still remain cautious, says Kim Ji-hyung, an analyst at Hanyang Securities

Foreigners were net buyers of 202.5 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,166.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.30 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,170.0. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,167.5 per US dollar, up 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,166.1 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.47 per cent, after US stocks fell. Japanese stocks fell 1.51 per cent.

The KOSPI has risen 6.66 per cent so far this year, and rose 0.5 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 472.19 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 209.

The won has lost 4.4 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.06 point to 109.51, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 1.6 basis points to 1.723 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 2.5 basis points to 1.875 per cent.


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