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Asia, Forex

S.Korea stocks gain on relief over Japan export curbs

* KOSPI index adds more than 1%, foreigners net sellers * Korean won strengthens versus U.S. dollar * South Korea benchmark bond yield rises SEOUL, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares picked up on Thursday and were set to snap six sessions of losses on news that Japan had granted approval for a high-tech export to the country for the first time since stricter curbs in July. The Korean won and the benchmark bond yield rose. ** South Korea’s prime minister said Japan has granted its first approval for the export of a high-tech material to South Korea since Tokyo imposed tighter curbs in July on three high-tech components used for making chips and displays. ** Japan’s industry minister Hiroshige Seko refrained from commenting on details of the exports, but later added it will consider expanding its strict examination beyond the three high-tech materials if improper use of exports to South Korea is found. ** Japan said in July it would tighten restrictions on exports of high-tech materials to South Korea, a move seen as related to disputes over compensation for forced labour during World War Two. ** Japan’s latest move has provided relief, while a confrontation between the United States and China is not escalating further, said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment. ** As of 0213 GMT, the Seoul stock market’s main KOSPI rose 23.74 points or 1.24% to 1,933.45. ** Foreigners were net sellers of 107.8 billion won ($89.06 million) worth of shares on the main board. ** The won was quoted at 1,211.3 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.3% higher than its previous close at 1,214.9. ** In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,210.4 per U.S. dollar, up 0.2% from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,209.4 per dollar. ** MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.62%, after U.S. stocks closed up. Japanese stocks rose 0.55%. ** The KOSPI has fallen 5.70% so far this year, and lost 10.0% in the previous 30 trading sessions. ** The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28% and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won. ** The trading volume during the session in the KOSPI index was 338.65 million shares and, of the total traded issues of 888, the number of advancing shares was 697. ** The won has lost 7.9% against the U.S dollar so far this year. ** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.03 point to 111.30, while the 3-month Certificate of Deposit rate was quoted at 1.49%. ** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.3 basis point to 1.150%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.6 basis point to 1.257%. ($1 = 1,210.4000 won) (Reporting by Hayoung Choi; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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