Seoul stocks jump up as U.S., China near deal

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Seoul stocks jump up as U.S., China near deal

Stocks ended higher to close at a five-month high Wednesday as the United States and China inch closer to a trade deal. The Korean won rose against the dollar.

Kospi rose 1.51 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 2,144.15, the highest in nearly six months. Trading volume was moderate at 403 million shares worth 5.5 trillion won ($4.8 billion), with gainers exceeding losers 461 to 350.


The Kospi index has risen for a fifth straight session largely buoyed by anticipation of an interim trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

Investors remain upbeat over the prospect of at least a partial trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies, but they are also cautious on reports that China is urging the United States to remove most of existing tariffs on Chinese goods before its leader Xi Jinping signs the deal, analysts said.

“It is uncertain whether U.S. President Donald Trump will be able to accept the request in order to seal a trade deal with China. It has put a limit on the main index today,” Park Hee-chan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo, said over the phone.

If the first phase of a trade deal is signed in the United States in the coming weeks, it will definitely further boost the Kospi index, he said.

On Sunday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed optimism that the United States would sign a “phase one” trade deal with China in November and that licenses would be released “very shortly” for U.S. firms to sell components to Huawei Technologies.

Foreigners bought a net 236 billion won worth of stocks, while institutions and individuals sold a combined 279 billion won worth of stocks.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics rose 1.1 percent to 53,300 won, state-run Korea Electric Power jumped 6.1 percent to 26,800 won and cosmetics company AmorePacific climbed 2.7 percent to 207,500 won.

Among decliners, Hyundai Motor fell 1.2 percent to 123,500 won and LG Chem shed 1.2 percent to 317,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 0.37 points, or 2.50 percent, to close at 669.68.

Won continued to rise against the dollar, advancing for a third consecutive session to close at 1,156.90 won, down 0.6 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were traded in positive terrain. The yield on three-year bonds gained 1.0 basis point to 1.534 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds rose 8.3 basis points to 1.86 percent.

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