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Seoul: Stocks jump on chipmakers; investors eye Trump speech

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Chipmakers pushed South Korean shares higher on Tuesday, as investors waited for a speech by US President Donald Trump later in the day that could offer clues on trade talks with China. The South Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose as well.

[SEOUL] Chipmakers pushed South Korean shares higher on Tuesday, as investors waited for a speech by US President Donald Trump later in the day that could offer clues on trade talks with China. The South Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose as well.

The electric sub-index advanced 1.8 per cent, buoyed by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix which closed up nearly 2 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

After a recent correction, chipmakers are rising again on expectations of higher demand, said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Korea.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi index ended up 16.83 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 2,140.92.

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Mr Trump is scheduled to speak at the Economic Club of New York later in the day, with investors anxious for any positive news about his administration's long-running trade war with China.

A consortium led by South Korean construction firm Hyundai Development Co has been picked as the preferred bidder for a controlling stake in Asiana Airlines. The news sent Asiana Airlines' shares 13 per cent higher.

Foreigners were net sellers of 66.5 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,160.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.52 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,166.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,160.8 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 1,160.2 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.49 per cent, after US stocks closed down overnight. Japanese stocks rose 0.81 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 4.89 per cent so far this year, and gained 2.4 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 601.67 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 904, the number of advancing shares was 426.

The won has lost 3.9 per cent against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.15 point to 109.86, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.53 per cent in late afternoon trade.

The most liquid three-year South Korean treasury bond yield rose by 7.2 basis points to 1.568 per cent in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 5.7 basis points to 1.842 per cent.

REUTERS