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Seoul: Stocks jump over 1% on trade talks progress, China data

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index jumped over 1 per cent on Monday, supported by signs of progress in Sino-US trade talks and positive Chinese factory gauges. The won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

The main Kospi stock index ended 27.61 points, or 1.29 per cent, higher at 2,168.28 points. South Korea's exports contracted for a fourth month in March but at a slower rate in a sign of continued strain on the trade reliant economy, putting pressure on policymakers to shift to an easing stance to ward off growing external risks.

Factory activity in China unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March, an official survey showed on Sunday, suggesting government stimulus measures may be starting to take hold in the world's second largest economy.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade talks with China were going very well, but cautioned that he would not accept anything less than a "great deal" after top US and Chinese trade officials wrapped up two days of negotiations in Beijing. Foreigners were net buyers of 250.2 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

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The won was quoted at 1,133.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.12 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,135.1. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,133.7 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 1,132.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.94 per cent, after US stocks rose . Japanese stocks rose 1.43 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 6.23 per cent so far this year, and fell 3.8 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 on the KOSPI index was 259.06 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 657.

The won has lost 1.6 per cent against the U.S dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.10 points to 109.59, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.90 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 3.8 basis points to 1.728 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 3.2 basis points to 1.865 per cent. 

REUTERS