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Seoul: Stocks, won end lower on new round of US tariff threat

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the currency closed weaker on Monday amid reports that US President Donald Trump was about to announce a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports. South Korean bond yields rose.

While Monday's investor sentiment is similar to the time when the United States and China imposed tariffs on each other in June, the market is reacting a little less now, said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

At 0632 GMT, the KOSPI ended down 15.24 points or 0.66 per cent at 2,303.01, snapping its big percentage gain from Friday.

South Korean broadcasting firms climbed ahead of live broadcast of major events of the inter-Korean summit to be held from Tuesday to Thursday in Pyongyang. YTN, which provides a 24-hour news channel, closed up 7.8 per cent.

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The won was quoted at 1,126.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.89 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,116.6, reaching the biggest percentage loss since Aug 10.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,127.03 per US dollar, down 0.57 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,109.6 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.99 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 1.2 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 6 per cent so far this year, and up by 2.12 per cent in the previous 30 days.

The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 percent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won. The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 339,317,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 236. Foreigners were net buyers of 169,490 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar rose 5.69 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 dropped 0.03 points to 108.74.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.965 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.96 per cent.

REUTERS