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South Korea: Stocks, won edge up amid caution on US-China trade talks


[SEOUL] South Korea's Kospi stock index and the Korean won both nudged up on Friday, while investors remained cautious as they watch how the US-Sino trade negotiations unfold.

Market players also eyed developments of talks between the United States and North Korea. US President Donald Trump sought on Thursday to placate North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un after Pyongyang threatened to scrap an unprecedented summit, saying Kim's security would be guaranteed in any deal.

At 0056 GMT, the Kospi was up 10.94 points or 0.45 per cent at 2,459.39.

Shares of South Korean drugmaker Samsung BioLogics jumped 8 per cent after the company said joint venture partner Biogen would exercise its call option by late June.

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The won was quoted at 1,079.6 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.15 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,081.2.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,079.3 per US dollar, up 0.23 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,062.2 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.07 per cent, after US stocks ended the previous session with losses . Japanese stocks rose 0.33 per cent.

The Kospi slipped around 0.8 per cent so far this year, and down by 0.25 percent 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 141,324,000 shares, and of the total traded issues of 878, the number of advancing shares was 466.

Foreigners were net sellers of 7,505 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 1.21 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, 2018, and low is 1,098.4 on Feb. 6, this year.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.07 points to 107.66.

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 2.249 per cent, lower than the previous day's 2.26 per cent.