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South Korea: Stocks retreat on China growth woes; up for week

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares retreated on Friday as China's weak growth data dampened the optimism from a divorce deal between the UK and the European Union. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose.

China's third-quarter economic growth slowed more than expected and to its weakest pace in almost three decades as the bruising US trade war hit factory production, boosting the case for Beijing to roll out fresh support.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI closed down 17.25 points, or 0.83 per cent, at 2,060.69. For the week, the index climbed 0.79 per cent, marking its second straight week of gains.

The KOSPI sharply turned lower as China posted a 6 per cent growth in the third quarter, missing the forecast, said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst from Daishin Securities. In early trade, the markets had edged up on reduced worries over Brexit and China's better-than-expected industrial output data, Mr Lee noted.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 141.8 billion won (S$163.9 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,181.5 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.47 per cent higher than its previous close at 1,187.0. The currency rose 0.62 per cent from a week ago, logging its third consecutive week of gains.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,181.3 per US dollar, down 0.2 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,179.6 per dollar.

 

REUTERS