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South Korea: Stocks climb on Wall Street gains; won holds steady

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index inched higher on Wednesday, drawing support from overnight gains on Wall Street, but reports that Washington plans to raise tariffs on Chinese goods put the focus back on China-US trade. South Korean won remained flat. 

Reports that the US plans tariffs of 25 per cent on US$200 billion in Chinese imports led to uncertainty, after an earlier Bloomberg report that said Washington and Beijing were seeking to resume trade talks to defuse the battle over import tariffs. 

At 02:48 GMT, the KOSPI was up 8.35 points or 0.36 per cent at 2,303.61.

The won was quoted at 1,117.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.08 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,118.7. In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,118.49 per US dollar, down 0.56 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,101.55 per dollar.

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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.04 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains . Japanese stocks rose 0.53 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 7.0 per cent so far this year, and down by 1.92 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 114,177,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 892, the number of advancing shares was 548. Foreigners were net buyers of 58,622 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 4.89 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 0.03 points to 108.06.

REUTERS