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(LEAD) Seoul shares hit 6-week high on eased trade tensions

All Headlines 16:29 December 03, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose sharply to a six-week high Monday as a U.S.-China trade truce boosted investor sentiment, analysts said. The Korean won sharply gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 35.07 points, or 1.67 percent, to 2,131.93, marking the highest level since Oct. 22 when the bourse finished at 2,161.71.

Trading volume was heavy at 428.9 million shares worth 5.43 trillion won (US$4.89 billion), with winners beating decliners 648 to 186.

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to delay the implementation of a tariff hike slated for next month.

The overnight news that Washington and Beijing agreed to a cease-fire in their trade war pushed up stock markets across the globe.

Here in South Korea, foreign investors led the rally, scooping up a net 3.23 billion won worth of local shares, along with institutions that purchased a net 1.33 billion won.

"The trade issue has bothered investors for months. Now, the uncertainties were wiped out to a large extent," said analyst Cho Byung-hyun from Yuanta Securities Korea Co. "Although the agreement is temporary, the two sides decided to start talking. It's important."

Shares of export companies finished in positive territory.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 3.35 percent to 43,250 won, and SK hynix, the second-largest share in market cap, gained 1.29 percent to 70,500 won.

Auto industry shares ended bullish, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor rising 1.40 percent to 108,500 won and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis climbing 0.55 percent to 181,500 won.

SK Innovation, the top oil refiner, vaulted 3.56 percent to 203,500 won, and No. 3 S-Oil advanced 4.07 percent to 115,000 won.

The local currency traded at 1,110.7 won against the U.S. dollar, up 10.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.7 basis points to 1.924 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds added 2.6 basis points to 1.998 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares hit 6-week high on eased trade tensions - 1

brk@yna.co.kr
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