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Seoul: Stocks halt losing streak on Japan relief

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares snapped six sessions of losses on Thursday, as a trade dispute with Japan showed no further signs of escalation. The won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

Negative factors have eased somewhat and the won has stabilised, said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst with Yuanta Securities Korea. Still, there's a need to check signals from the US Federal Reserve and developments in the Sino-US negotiations for the market's direction, he added.

Japan has approved export of a high-tech material to South Korea for the first time since imposing tighter curbs last month, but doubled down on political pressure and warned it could broaden restrictions on shipments to its Asian neighbour.

China's exports unexpectedly returned to growth in July despite escalating US trade pressure, but the rebound may be short-lived as Washington prepares to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods.

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The Seoul stock market's main Kospi index ended up 10.90 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 1,920.61. The junior Kosdaq closed up 3.7 per cent.

Foreigners were net sellers of 142.0 billion won worth of shares on the main board. The won was quoted at 1,209.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.47 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,214.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,208.7 per US dollar, up 0.3 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,207.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.85 per cent, after US stocks closed firmer. Japanese stocks rose 0.37 per cent.

The Kospi has fallen 5.90 per cent so far this year, and lost 10.0 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 in the Kospi index was 762.20 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 766.

The won has lost 7.7 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.05 points to 111.28, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.49 per cent.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 1.154 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.3 basis point to 1.254 per cent. 

REUTERS