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Seoul: Stocks recoup losses to end flat as US, China outline trade deal

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index recouped losses to end flat on Thursday following a Reuters report that the United States and China were outlining agreements on the stickiest trade issues. The Korean won dropped against the dollar, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main index lost 1.10 points or 0.05 per cent to 2,228.66 points.

The index began to rebound on media report the United States and China were working on six memorandums of understanding about key structural reforms (of China), Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said in a note.

The United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet towards ending a seven-month trade war, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

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Foreigners were net buyers of 204.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,125.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.15 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,123.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,125.0 per US dollar, down 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,124.2 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.14 per cent, after US stocks ended slightly higher overnight. Japanese stocks rose 0.15% per cent.

The Kospi has risen 9.19 per cent so far this year, gaining 10.9 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 375.78 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 894, the number of advancing shares was 324.

The won has lost 0.8 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 109.22.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.89 per cent, while the most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.811 per cent, higher than 1.802 per cent quoted in the previous session.

REUTERS