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Seoul: Stocks, won plunge as global trade spat dents sentiment

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won plunged on Thursday as the global trade friction deepened, denting investor sentiment. Bond yields fell. At 0632 GMT, the Kospi was down 27.79 points or 1.19 per cent at 2,314.24, hitting its lowest since May 2017. Shares of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics ended 2.4 per cent lower and 3.4 per cent weaker respectively. The sub-index for electric and electricity shares closed down 2.3 per cent.

South Korean cosmetics companies rose on strong export demand throughout the day. Korea Customs Service said on Thursday the cosmetics exports are robust with rising demands of China, Vetnam and European Union. Amorepacific Corp ended 3.6 per cent higher, while Korea Kolmar and Cosmax closed up 1.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

The won was quoted at 1,124.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.59 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,117.6, hitting the lowest since Oct 2017. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,123.55 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,107.95 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.86 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.01 per cent.

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The Kospi lost around 5.1 per cent so far this year, and slipped 5.48 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 403,750,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 221.

Foreigners were net sellers of 259,683 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 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 1,125.17 on June 27, 2018. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.01 points to 108.06. 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 2.113 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.12 per cent.

REUTERS