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Seoul: Stocks, won rise on optimism over US-EU trade negotiation

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the currency won rose on Thursday after US President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work towards eliminating trade barriers, easing immediate concerns about worsening global trade tensions. South Korean bond yields fell.

At 06:33 GMT, the Kospi was up 16.03 points, or 0.71 per cent, at 2,289.06. Gains were led by chipmaker SK Hynix, which closed 3.2 per cent higher after the company said second-quarter operating profit surged 83 per cent from a year earlier and beat market estimates.

The won was quoted at 1,119.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.63 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,126.3, extending gains into a second session. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,119.26 per US dollar, down 0.23 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,103.85 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.04 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks weakened 0.12 per cent. The KOSPI is down around 7.9 per cent so far this year, and down by 7.93 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.

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The trading volume during the session on the Kospi index was 295,319,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 893, the number of advancing shares was 638. Foreigners were net buyers of 123,899 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 4.96 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 0.01 points to 108.22. 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 2.073 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.08 per cent.

REUTERS