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Seoul: Stocks fall on Trump's tariff remarks; won edges up

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index dropped on Monday as US President Donald Trump's threats to impose tariffs on all their imports from China dented sentiment, while the Korean won edged up tracking gains in Chinese yuan. Bond yields rose.

As of 0156 GMT, the KOSPI was down 14.39 points or 0.63 per cent at 2,274.80. Shares of South Korea's chipmakers tumbled on lean sector forecast of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which is a type of semiconductor memory that stores data in a separate tiny capacitor within an integrated circuit. Shares of SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics dropped 5.4 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,128.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.46 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,133.7. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,127.5 per US dollar, down 0.05 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,109.5 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.05 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses. Japanese stocks weakened 1.24 per cent.

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The KOSPI is down around 7.2 per cent so far this year, and slipped 7.34 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 (S$1.5 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 152,308,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 882, the number of advancing shares was 227. Foreigners were net sellers of 17,766 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar gained 5.73 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, 2018, and low is 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 108.2. 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 2.085 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.08 per cent.

REUTERS