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Seoul: Stocks gain; won wobbles on US-China trade concerns

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[SEOUL]South Korea's Kospi stock index rose while the won currency eased on Tuesday as lingering concerns over a US-China trade war dented investor sentiment. South Korean bond yields fell. China's yuan rebounded against the dollar for a second day on Tuesday, easing market fears over an escalating Sino-U.S. trade dispute. Yet, traders were limiting their bids on the yuan which faced resistance around the 6.6 per dollar mark.

At 06:30 GMT, the Kospi was up 8.36 points or 0.37 per cent at 2,294.16. The won was quoted at 1,116 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.34 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,112.2.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,115.11 per US dollar, down 0.25 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,100.05 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.04 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.66 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 7.4 per cent so far this year, and down by 7.31 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.

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The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 329,363,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 886, the number of advancing shares was 611. Foreigners were net buyers of 34,394 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 4.57 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 1,125.17 on June 27 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.02 points to 108.15. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.093 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.11 per cent.

REUTERS