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Seoul: Stocks, won edge up on optimism over US-China talks


[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index and the won edged higher on Monday as proposed trade talks between the United States and China improved investor sentiment. Korean bond yields fell. The Kospi closed up 0.83 points or 0.04 per cent at 2,247.88.

South Korean shipbuilders jumped after an industry report noted rising prices of liquefied natural gas tankers that are set to benefit the country's shipbuilders. Shares of Hyundai Heavy Industries soared 9.2 per cent, while those of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries jumped 9 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,123.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.16 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,124.9. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,122.49 per US dollar, down 0.27 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,105.6 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.74 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.32 per cent. The Kospi is down around 8.9 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.47 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 267,246,000 shares and, of the total 898 traded issues, the number of advancing shares was 442. Foreigners were net sellers of 54,726 million won worth of shares.

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The US dollar has risen 5.26 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per 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 0.01 points to 108.56. 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 1.993 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.00 per cent. 


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