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Seoul: Stocks, won end firmer as investors shrug off fresh tariffs

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index closed higher on Tuesday in line with other Asian shares as Chinese markets largely shrugged off Washington's fresh round of trade tariffs. The South Korean won rose, while bond yields slipped.

China's commerce ministry said on Tuesday it has no choice but to retaliate against the US tariffs, warning intensified tensions between the two biggest economies.

At 0630 GMT, the Kospi ended up 5.97 points or 0.26 per cent at 2,308.98. Samsung BioLogics closed 4.3 per cent higher and Samsung SDI ended 3.5 per cent firmer. Shares of LG Electronics closed 4 per cent lower, marking their lowest close since Aug 3, 2017, while tech giant Samsung Electronics edged 0.8 per cent higher. The won was quoted at 1,123.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.3 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,126.6.

China's blue chip index climbed 2 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei gained 1.4 per cent. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,123.07 per US dollar, up 0.2 per cent from the previous session, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,106.2 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.36 per cent after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks climbed 1.41 per cent.

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The Kospi fell 6.7 per cent so far this year, and rose 0.67 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 301,522,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 326.

Foreigners were net sellers of 10,945 million won worth of shares. The US dollar rose 5.36 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, 2018 and low is 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018. In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 108.78. The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.987 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.97 per cent.

REUTERS