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Seoul: Stocks, won rise on hopes of better ties with North

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index and the won rose on Friday as investors were buoyed by expectations of better ties with North Korea following a meeting of leaders at the ongoing inter-Korean summit.

At 0630 GMT, the KOSPI was up 16.76 points or 0.68 per cent at 2,492.40. For the week, the index rose 0.7 per cent, its third consecutive week of gains.

Shares of railroad industry-related companies soared after South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said rapid-transit railway could be connected from the South to the North if the two Koreas

are reunified. Daeho AL Co Ltd jumped 13.6 per cent, while Daea TI and Ecomaister surged 25 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively.

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Samsung Electronics ended trade up 1.7 per cent as investors scooped up shares on the last trading day ahead of a three-day halt before a 50:1 stock split.

The won was quoted at 1,076.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.4 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,080.9. On a weekly basis, however, the currency shed 1.4 per cent.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,075.71 per U.S. dollar, up 0.08 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,060.6 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.68 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks rose 0.66 per cent.

The KOSPI is up around 0.3 per cent so far this year, and has risen 0.67 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 454,385,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 884, the number of advancing shares was 397.

Foreigners were net buyers of 147,072 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 0.88 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year was 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 and the low was 1,098.4 on Feb 6.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.09 points to 107.75.

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 2.203 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.24 per cent.

REUTERS

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