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Seoul: Stocks rise as trade worries ease


[SEOUL] South Korean shares climbed on Tuesday as concerns over the latest escalation in Sino-US trade row faded, but the gains were limited ahead of the weightage changes in MSCI EM index. The South Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi closed up 8.29 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 1,924.60 points.

US President Donald Trump predicted a trade deal with China after positive gestures by Beijing, calming global markets that have been battered by new tariffs from the world's two largest economies.

The broader market was boosted by Mr Trump's comments, while foreigners' net selling was related to the rebalancing of MSCI, said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

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The MSCI weighting changes take effect based on Tuesday's closing prices and this made some investors cautious about possibly big sales.

Foreigners were net sellers of 185.1 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,211.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.54 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,217.8.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,210.8 per US dollar, up 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,209.9 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.31 per cent, after US stocks closed up. Japanese stocks rose 0.96 per cent.

The Kospi has fallen 5.70 per cent so far this year, and lost 8.2 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.

Trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 419.37 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 467.

The won has lost 7.9 per cent against the US dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.17 point to 111.21, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.49 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 4.5 basis points to 1.165 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 3.8 basis points to 1.228 per cent.