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Seoul: Stocks pare losses on Sino-US trade optimism; won inches up

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged down on Tuesday tracking losses in Apple Inc, while hopes about a Sino-US trade agreement helped to pare losses. The won inched up and bond yields also rose.

China's Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday at a function in Singapore that the country hopes to come to an agreement on its ongoing trade dispute with the United States based on mutual respect and trust.

The Kospi closed down 9.21 points or 0.44 per cent at 2,071.23.

Apple fell on Monday amid sharp declines in shares of its suppliers such as Lumentum Holdings Inc, and chipmakers that sell to Apple such as Cirrus Logic Inc. Apple's decline hit the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which fell more than 2 per cent.

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South Korea's electronic parts suppliers to Apple Inc, such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix closed down 1.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, while LG Innotek plunged 5.5 per cent.

Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd, which plunged on Monday over fears of a trading suspension or delisting, bounced back to close up nearly 10 per cent, awaiting the financial regulator's decision.

The won was quoted at 1,133.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.05 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,133.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,133.76 per U.S. dollar, up 0.4 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,114.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.45 per cent, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 2.06 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 15.7 per cent so far this year, and down by 11.67 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 376,813,000 shares and, of the total 895 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 341.

Foreigners were net sellers of 300,231 million won worth of shares.

The U.S dollar has risen 6.32 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and the low is 1,146.26 on Oct. 11.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 point to 108.74.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.947 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.94 per cent.

REUTERS