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Seoul: Stocks track Wall Street higher on trade optimism

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged higher on Monday, in line with Wall Street as trade comments by US President Donald Trump assuaged concerns among investors. The Korean won strengthened, and the benchmark bond yield also rose.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI was up 3.56 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 2,048.87. Mr Trump said late Thursday that he saw a resolution to the trade war with China "happening fast". He added that Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which the White House has blacklisted, could also be included in a trade deal. Both countries have blamed each other for the breakdown in talks, which were intended to end trade tensions between the world's two largest economies marked by tit-for-tat tariffs.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Barunson Entertainment soars as its production Parasite won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

Foreigners were net sellers of 57.9 billion won worth of shares on the main board. The won was quoted at 1,185.0 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.29 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,188.4. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,184.7 per US dollar, largely unchanged from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,182.7 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.04 per cent, after the US stocks edged up. Japanese stocks rose 0.21 per cent. The Kospi climbed 0.38 per cent so far this year, but lost 8.1 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 166.59 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 427.

The won lost 5.8 per cent against the US dollar so far this year. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds dipped 0.01 point to 109.76, while the three-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.84 per cent. The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.8 basis point to 1.651 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.6 basis point to 1.797 per cent.

REUTERS