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South Korea: Stocks end higher as Sino-US trade tensions ease

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South Korean shares closed at a 7-month high on Friday, after Washington and Beijing inched closer to a resolution to their trade tussle.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed at a 7-month high on Friday, after Washington and Beijing inched closer to a resolution to their trade tussle.

Sources told Reuters on Thursday the United States would suspend Dec 15 tariffs on US$160 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods and roll back existing tariffs in return for Beijing's pledge to hike purchases of US farm products in 2020.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI closed up 32.90 points, or 1.54 per cent, at 2,170.25. For the week, the KOSPI gained 4.2 per cent, posting the sharpest weekly gain since Feb 2016.

It's obviously a good news, said Kim Young-hwan, an analyst at KB Securities. If all goes well, the index would hit 2,240 by the end of this year, but it needs to wait for remarks from China before betting the rally would continue, he added.

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Foreigners were net buyers of US$436.69 million worth of shares on the main board.

The KOSPI has risen 6.33 per cent so far this year, and gained 2.6 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 533.28 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 908, the number of advancing shares was 602.

REUTERS