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Seoul: Stocks, won rise amid hopes of Sino-US trade talks

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won gained on Thursday following news that the United States has reached out to China for a new round of trade talks, raising hopes a deal could be struck in the bitter tariff dispute between the world's top two economies.

Bond yields rose following Prime Minister's remark which hinted at a rate hike. South Korea's finance ministry said it planned to sell dollar bonds of 10-year and 30-year tenure. In a move to curb housing price surge, the government unfolded tougher taxation plan on property ownership, targeting multiple home owners.

At 0630 GMT, the Kospi was up 4.03 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 2,286.95, in line with Asian shares. Shares of chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix declined 1.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively, after Goldman Sachs downgraded its view on the semiconductor capital equipment space.

The won was quoted at 1,122.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.55 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,128.6. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,122.38 per US dollar, down 0.28 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,104.95 per dollar. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.65 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.96 per cent.

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The Kospi is down around 7.5 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.54 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 294,601,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 451. Foreigners were net sellers of 248,285 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 5.25 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 fell 0.08 points to 108.92. 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 1.923 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.89 per cent.

REUTERS

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