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Seoul: Stocks, won rise in line with China, Japan markets

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won strengthened on Friday, in line with gains in China and Japan. South Korean bond yields fell.

US and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough. At the same time, their trade war escalated with activation of another round of duelling tariffs on US$16 billion worth of each country's goods.

Though the Sino-US trade talks ended without any progress, the effort could have worked as a positive signal to the market considering it as an extension of efforts to resolve trade tensions, said Moon Dong-yeol, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

At 0630 GMT, the Kospi was up 10.61 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 2,293.21. For the week, the benchmark index rose 2.1 per cent, its biggest gain since the week ended March 9.

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Stocks related to K-pop boy band BTS climbed ahead of an album release on Friday. The band also kicks off a world tour starting with a two-day concert in South Korea on Saturday and Sunday.

The won was quoted at 1,118.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.22 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,121.4. The won climbed 0.5 per cent this week in its second straight weekly gain.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,118.64 per US dollar, up 0.44 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,102.15 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.12 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks rose 0.85 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 7.5 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.09 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 340,999,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 897, the number of advancing shares was 481. Foreigners were net buyers of 77,820 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 4.9 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 rose 0.03 points to 108.68.

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 1.969 per cent, higher than the previous day's 1.96 per cent.

REUTERS