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Seoul: Stocks, won fall as US tariffs deadline nears


[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index and the won fell on Friday ahead of a US deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. South Korea's bond yields rose.

President Donald Trump confirmed that the US would begin collecting tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports at 12.01am Washington time (0401 GMT) on Friday, while China accused the US of "opening fire" on the world with tariffs.

At 0216 GMT, the KOSPI was down 3.74 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 2,253.81. Samsung Electronics fell more than 2 per cent after the tech giant said its April-June profit was likely 14.8 trillion won (S$18.06 billion), below the 14.9 trillion won average of 18 analysts' estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll. Revenue likely fell 4.9 per cent from a year earlier to 58 trillion won, dampening investor sentiment.

South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor jumped more than 3 per cent on optimistic outlook after reports that the US and the EU may agree to withdraw auto tariffs. With this gain, Hyundai Motor became the country's 4th largest company by market capitalisation, according to stock exchange data. Kia Motors, the nation's second largest automaker, jumped while key affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group including Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Globis leaped as much as 4.8 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,120.1 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.13 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,118.6.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,118.69 per dollar, down 0.03 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,102.85 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.27 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.61 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 8.5 per cent so far this year, and down by 8.44 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 145,260,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 881, the number of advancing shares was 429.

Foreigners were net sellers of 74,358 million won worth of shares.

The dollar has risen 4.98 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 1,125.17 on June 27 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 108.15.

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 2.103 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.10 per cent.


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