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South Korea: Stocks climb amid cautious optimism after Sino-US trade deal

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The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended up 17.07 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 2,248.05.

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks ended firmer on Thursday, led by automotive and pharmaceutical sectors, though investors remained wary of unresolved trade issues after an initial pact was signed by Washington and Beijing.

The United States and China signed the interim trade deal that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of US goods and services. The deal will, however, leave in place 25 per cent tariffs on a US$250 billion array of Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers.

The pact does not address structural economic issues that led to the trade conflict. Officials say these will be dealt in Phase 2 negotiations, though the differences there are so fundamental that many investors doubt whether any deal will come through.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended up 17.07 points, or 0.77 per cent, at 2,248.05.

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Foreigners were net sellers of US$31.70 million worth of shares on the main board.

The KOSPI climbed 2.29 per cent so far this year, and gained 6.8 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 796.46 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 907, the number of advancing shares was 373.

REUTERS