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Seoul: Stocks inch up as investors await trade talk outcome

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose on Friday, although it lost some of its early gains after US President Donald Trump's tariff hike, as investors waited for the outcome of the two-day talks between the world's largest economies.

The South Korean won strengthened and the benchmark bond yield rose. The Seoul stock market's main Kospi index rose 6.03 points or 0.29 per cent to 2,108.04.

For the week, the Kospi lost 4.02 per cent, its biggest weekly loss since late October 2018. Foreigners were net sellers of 322.2 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

Mr Trump's tariff increase to 25 per cent on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect on Friday, and Beijing said it would strike back, ratcheting up tensions as the two sides pursue last-ditch talks to try and salvage a trade deal.

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The won was quoted at 1,177.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.24 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,179.8. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,176.5 per US dollar, up 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,175.2 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.68 per cent, after US stocks fell. Japanese stocks fell 0.27per cent.

The Kospi has risen 3.28per cent so far this year, and fell 2.2per 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 on the Kospi index was 701.73 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 358.

The won has lost 5.2 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 109.51, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.6 basis points to 1.715 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.6 basis point to 1.868 per cent.