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South Korean stocks close higher on strong China data

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The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended up 16.72 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 2,100.20. From a week ago, the index has added 0.6 per cent, marking its fourth straight week of gains.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares extended gains on Friday as China's upbeat factory activity data reduced investor worries over a trade deal between the United States and China. The Korean won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI ended up 16.72 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 2,100.20. From a week ago, the index has added 0.6 per cent, marking its fourth straight week of gains.

China's factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in over two years in October as new export orders rose and plants ramped up production, a private business survey showed on Friday.

The KOSPI was buoyed by China's strong factory activity data, said Park Seok-hyun, an analyst from KTB Investment & Securities.

Chinese officials have doubts about whether it is possible to reach a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington and US President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

South Korean exports in October fell for an 11th consecutive month and by the most in nearly four years as shipments to China kept slowing and computer chip prices plunged, data showed on Friday.

Foreigners were net buyers of 85.7 billion won (S$99.9 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,165.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.19 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,163.4. The currency, however, gained 0.6 per cent on a weekly basis, posting its fifth consecutive week of gains.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,165.6 per US dollar, up 0.3 per cent from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,163.9 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.41 per cent, after US stocks sagged. Japanese stocks fell 0.33 per cent.

The KOSPI has risen 2.90 per cent so far this year, and gained 1.0 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 411.60 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 902, the number of advancing shares was 482.

The won has lost 4.3 per cent against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 110.13, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.44 per cent.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.3 basis points to 1.470%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.5 basis points to 1.733 per cent.

REUTERS

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