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South Korea: Stocks slide on trade deal concerns, Hong Kong unrest

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The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI index ended down 18.47 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 2,122.45.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares dropped on Wednesday as hopes for a Sino-US trade deal dwindled after President Donald Trump gave no new details on negotiations with China and as unrest in Hong Kong escalated. 

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI index ended down 18.47 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 2,122.45. The benchmark index fell as much as 1 per cent in early trade, hitting the lowest since Nov 4.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday dangled the prospect of completing an initial trade deal with China "soon," but offered no information on the negotiations in a campaign-style speech touting his administration's economic record.

Trump's speech failed to meet market expectations, disappointing investors, said Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities.

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Unrest in Hong Kong and a plunge in Hong Kong shares also affected local movement, he added.

Foreigners were net sellers of US$24.03 million worth of shares on the main board.

The KOSPI has risen 3.99 per cent so far this year, and gained 4.4 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 655.80 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 905, the number of advancing shares was 282.

REUTERS