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Seoul: Stocks fall on fears of new tariff war; won gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened in line with Asian shares on Friday on fears of a new round of Sino-US tariff war. The Korean won rose, while bond yields edged higher.

At 0113 GMT, the Kospi was down 11.05 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 2,276.38 and headed for a third straight session of declines. 

Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix led the decline, shedding 2.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. They tracked shares of US chipmakers which ended lower overnight amid concerns about a looming end to the chip super-cycle.

Shares of Hyundai Motor Group companies edged higher after a report that Elliott Management forced the group's restructuring in favour of shareholder value.

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Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors rose 1.1 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively, while Hyundai Glovis jumped 5.5 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,123.7 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.03 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,124.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,123.75 per US dollar, down 0.17 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,106.8 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.33 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.14 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 7.3 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.64 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 cap is 1,242.04 trillion won (S$1.52 trillion). 

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 120,457,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 889, the number of advancing shares was 388.

Foreigners were net sellers of 329,649 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 5.38 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per US dollar on April 2, and low is 1,140.4 on July 19.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 points to 108.92.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.926 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.91 per cent.

REUTERS