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South Korea: Stocks fall on trade war fears, won strengthens

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index weakened on Monday. The Korean won gained and bond yields edged higher. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics dropped 1.4 per cent.

South Korean steelmaker Posco rose 2.5 per cent, while Dongkuk Steel gained 1 percent, paring some of their earlier losses as investors saw limited impact from US President Donald Trump's plans to impose tariffs on steel imports.

At 0136 GMT, the Kospi was down 6.98 points or 0.29 per cent at 2,395.18.

The won was quoted at 1,079.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.1 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,080.3.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,078.9 per US dollar, down 0.02 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,068.75 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.10 percent, after US stocks ended the previous session with mild gains. Japanese s tocks weakened 0.61 per cent.

The Kospi is down around 2.6 per cent so far this year, and fell 4.74 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 121,921,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 878, the number of advancing shares was 269.

Foreigners were net sellers of 40,582 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.16 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on January 14, 2018, and low is 1,098.4 on February 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, March futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.04 points to 107.56.

REUTERS