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Seoul: Stocks, won slide on trade war fears, safe-haven demand

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed down more than 1.6 per cent on Monday, in line with broader Asia, as investors stayed on the sidelines due to an escalation in US-China trade war. The won fell, while the benchmark bond yields slipped on safe-haven demand.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Monday said China is willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States through "calm" negotiations and resolutely opposes the escalation of the conflict.

The trade dispute between the world's two largest economies sharply escalated since Friday, with both sides levelling more tariffs on each other's exports.

Seoul's main stock index Kospi ended down 31.99 points, or 1.64 per cent, at 1,916.31, falling for the third consecutive session and marking its biggest intraday percentage loss since Aug 5.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,217.9 per US dollar, down 0.4 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,216.8 per USĀ  dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.97 per cent, after US stocks ended its previous session with a big loss. Japanese stocks fell 2.17 per cent.

The Kospi has fallen 6.11 per cent so far this year, and/but lost 6.4 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 317.49 million shares. Of the total 892 traded issues, only 67 shares advanced.

REUTERS