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Seoul: Stocks, won tumble on trade anxiety

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the won fell on Thursday as turmoil in emerging markets and jitters over a potentially severe escalation in the US-China trade war weighed on investor sentiment.

The Kospi stock index closed 4.15 points, or 0.18 per cent, lower at 2,287.62.

Shares of Hyundai Motor Group companies rose for a second straight session on higher sales. Hyundai Motor Co edged up 3.9 per cent, while affiliate Kia Motors climbed 4.5 per cent. Hyundai Glovis, the group's logistics unit, and Hyundai Mobis, the car parts subsidiary, jumped 6.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

South Korean shares exposed to cryptocurrency tumbled after Goldman Sachs Group Inc reportedly ditched plans to open a desk for trading it as the regulatory framework for the asset remained unclear. While bitcoin traded down nearly 4.1 per cent, extending its 9.3 per cent loss from the previous session, South Korea's cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb's stakeholders Vidente Co Ltd and Omnitel Inc dropped 7.1 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively.

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The won was quoted at 1,124 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.22 per cent weaker than its previous close at 1,121.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,123.49 per US dollar, down 0.42 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,106.3 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.85 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild losses. Japanese stocks weakened 0.41 per cent.

The KOSPI is down around 7.1 per cent so far this year, and up by 0.51 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 381,006,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 895, the number of advancing shares was 316.

Foreigners were net sellers of 267,354 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 5.36 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 0.02 points to 108.99.

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 1.898 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.90 per cent.

REUTERS