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Seoul: Stocks, won drop on concerns over Trump's trade threat

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won edged down on Friday after a report that US President Donald Trump was preparing to step up a trade war with Beijing and ready to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports.

At 01:38 GMT, the Kospi was down 1.51 points or 0.07 per cent at 2,305.84.

South Korea's pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms rose after a local media report that the country's top financial regulator would revise supervisory standards on accounting rules for R&D spending.

Shares of Samsung Biologics Co Ltd climbed as much as 5.2 per cent, while Medipost Co and Hanmi Pharm Co gained 7.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

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The won was quoted at 1,113.4 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.43 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,108.6.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,112.49 per US dollar, up 0.12 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,094.8 per US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.75 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses.

Japanese stocks weakened 0.29 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 6.5 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.75 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 77,350,000 shares and, of the total 887 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 380

Foreigners were net sellers of 25,943 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 4.32 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per US dollar on April 2 and the low is 1,140.4 on July 19.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.05 point to 108.72.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.972 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.98 per cent.

REUTERS