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Seoul: Stocks, won gain ahead of Trump-Kim summit

[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won inched up on Monday on expectations of a positive outcome from the US-North Korea summit scheduled on Tuesday.

"We've got very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I just think it's going to work out very nicely," US President Donald Trump said in Singapore, backing the optimistic prospect.

At 0632 GMT, the Kospi was up 18.57 points or 0.76 per cent at 2,470.15. Stocks related to inter-Korea projects showed huge gains. Shares of Hyundai Cement rose 29.9 per cent while those of Busan Industrial jumped 17.7 per cent.

South Korea's cryptocurrency exchange-related shares plunged as a "cyber intrusion" into South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail broke out over the weekend, causing a loss for about 30 per cent of the coins traded on the exchange. Bithumb's stakeholders Vidente and Omnitel both tumbled 4 pct and 3.9 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,075.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.07 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,075.9. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,074.06 per US dollar, down 0.01 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,057.1 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.29 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.48 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 0.6 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.91 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 414,291,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 543. Foreigners were net sellers of 9,820 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 0.72 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 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018. In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 point to 107.88. 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 2.229 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.19 per cent.


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