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South Korea-US to sign free trade agreement, Asiana Airlines’ shares jump

President Obama has announced Washington’s intention to complete a free trade agreement with South Korea by Nov-2010, which is expected to enhance trade and travel. Asiana Airlines’ shares jumped almost 5% yesterday, while Korean Air eased 0.6%.

United Airlines applauded the move, stating: “We have long advocated governmental action to remove barriers to international trade, and along with our Star Alliance partners including Asiana Airlines, we provide the connections that enable people, businesses and communities to participate in an increasingly global economy." United added that travel from South Korea to the US is rising following Korea being added to the list of visa-waived countries.

Elsewhere, Chinese airline stocks were weaker yesterday as Chinese stocks fell for a fourth consecutive day, led by Air China (-2.7%), China Southern (-2.3%) and Hainan Airlines (-1.7%).

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 28-Jun-2010