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South Korea: Stocks rise on easing political tensions, won hits 3-1/2-yr high

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[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and won gained on Monday on signs of thawing of relations between the two Korean nations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending South Korean K-pop singers perform.

At 01:40 GMT, the KOSPI was up 14.53 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 2,460.38.

China-exposed shares, especially in the tourism and cosmetics sectors, largely supported the index as they jumped after Beijing's special envoy made a visit to South Korea. Lotte Tour Development surged nearly 30 per cent, Seoul bourse's daily trading limit, while Hotel Shilla and Amorepacific both rose up to 8.4 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,057.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.55 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,063.5. The currency hit its highest since October 2014. Seoul and Washington's currency side deal sparked demand for the won and continued to give support, said Paik Seok-hyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank.

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In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,056.96 per US dollar, up 0.31 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being asked at 1,042.7 per dollar.

The Kospi is down around 0.9 per cent so far this year, and up by 2.12 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 154,904,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 883, the number of advancing shares was 410.

Foreigners were net buyers of 2,196 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has fallen 0.88 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,056.67 per dollar on Jan 14, 2018 and low is 1,098.4 on Feb 6, 2018.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 points to 107.68.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.239 per cent, higher than the previous day's 2.22 per cent.

REUTERS