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South Korea: Stocks climb on trade talk hopes; won steadies

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index edged higher on Friday boosted by expectations around Sino-US trade talks despite Samsung Electronics' tepid first quarter profit. The Korean won was marginally lower, while the benchmark bond yield rose. 

As of 0207 GMT, the Seoul stock market's main Kospi rose 3.34 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,209.87 points.

The South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics said first-quarter operating profit likely slid 60 per cent from a year earlier, missing market expectations and putting it on track for its weakest quarterly profit since late 2016.

Foreigners were net buyers of 55.6 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

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The won was quoted at 1,136.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.04 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,136.3.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,135.6 per US dollar, up 0.0 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,134.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.09 per cent, after US stocks mixed. Japanese stocks rose 0.30 per cent.

The Kospi has risen 8.37 per cent so far this year, and fell 1.0 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions. 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 270.68 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 890, the number of advancing shares was 440.

The won has lost 1.8 per cent against the US dollar this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 109.55, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.87 per cent.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.7 basis points to 1.727 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.3 basis points to 1.890 per cent.

REUTERS