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Seoul: Stocks, Korean won slip; Xi speech awaited

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Tuesday. The Korean won slipped against the US dollar in the local platform, while bond yields also fell.

At 01.21 GMT, the Kospi was down 9.77 points or 0.40 per cent at 2,434.31. Markets are awaiting Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the Boao Forum which could yield his first reaction to Beijing's trade conflict with Washington.

Shares in Samsung C&T Corp and Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd rose 3.6 per cent and 6.8 per cent, respectively, after Samsung C&T's report said the company is considering raising up to 3 trillion won (S$3.7 billion) to buy a 30 per cent stake in biopharma affiliate Samsung Bioepis Co Ltd. Samsung Biologics owns 94.6 per cent of Samsung Bioepis.

The won was quoted at 1,071.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.42 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,067.1.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,070.1 per US dollar, down 0.13 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it fetched 1,054.3 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.05 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.16 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 0.9 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.30 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.

The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 147,090,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 199.

Foreigners were net sellers of 108,248 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.35 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per US dollar on April 2, 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.07 points to 107.94.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.16 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.17 per cent.