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Seoul: Stocks, won slide as US threatens more tariffs on China

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won slid on Wednesday as the United States' threat to impose 10 per cent tariffs on a list of US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports hurt investor sentiment. South Korean bond yields fell.

The benchmark stock index snapped three consecutive sessions of gains. Although the United States threatened to impose tariffs on additional Chinese goods, there are possibilities that China will negotiate on corresponding measures, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

At 06:32 GMT, the Kospi was down 13.54 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 2,280.62. The sub-index for transportation equipment sector tumbled 1.5 per cent. Ssangyong Motor rose as much as 25.3 per cent to its highest since Feb 21. This came after Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra said the company planned to invest about 1.3 trillion won in Ssangyong Motor over the next three-four years.

The won was quoted at 1,120 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.36 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,116. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,118.82 per US dollar, down 0.48 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,103.65 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.03 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks weakened 1.19 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 7.0 per cent so far this year, and down by 6.77 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 412,423,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 322. Foreigners were net buyers of 31,034 million won worth of shares. The US dollar has risen 4.92 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 0.12 points to 108.28. The South Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.058 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.10 per cent.

REUTERS

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