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Seoul: Stocks rise most since February on trade talks optimism; won gains

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index rose more than 1 per cent on Wednesday, reaching its highest since February 27, after four straight sessions of gains. The Korean won strengthened and the benchmark bond yield rose. Seoul stock market's main index, Kospi, rose 26.09 points or 1.20 per cent to 2,203.27 points.

Officials from the world's top two economies have resolved most of the issues standing in the way of a deal to end their long-running trade dispute, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

The United States and China "expect to make more headway" in trade talks this week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

Shares of South Korea game makers jumped after China approved imported online games

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Foreigners were net buyers of 273.9 billion won worth of shares on the main board. The won quoted at 1,134.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.19 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,136.4. In offshore trading, the won quoted at 1,134.1 per US dollar, up 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract quoted at 1,132.9 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.91 per cent, after US stocks trod water. Japanese stocks rose 0.97 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 7.95 per cent so far this year, and fell 1.5 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 on the Kospi was 344.29 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares were 599.

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 0.08 points to 109.57, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate quoted at 1.88 per cent.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.1 basis points to 1.718 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.5 basis points to 1.882 per cent.

REUTERS