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Seoul: Stocks gain as Chinese shares rally; won falls

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose on Tuesday tracking the turnaround in Chinese shares, while the escalation of a tariff war between the United States and China persisted. Chinese blue chips rallied 1.4 per cent after five straight sessions of losses, supported by real estate and banking stocks. The South Korean won dropped and bond yields also fell.

The Kospi was up 8.69 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 2,315.72.

Shares exposed to K-pop boyband BTS hiked after the group topped the Billboard 200 albums chart for the second time this year, while reports on controversies over South Koreans seeking military exemption for the band caught attention.

LB Semicon, whose affiliate holds about 11 per cent stake in the band's management agency Big Hit Entertainment, surged as much as 25 per cent, while GMP Co Ltd, engaged in the laminating business, jumped 7.2 per cent, on optimism over its collaboration with BTS on promotional products.

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The won was quoted at 1,114.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.41 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,110.3. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,114.94 per US dollar, down 0.26 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,098.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.17 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.05 per cent. The Kospi is down around 6.5 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.78 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. The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 271,789,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 470.

Foreigners were net buyers of 14,404 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 4.47 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 rose 0.04 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 1.914 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.92 per cent.

REUTERS