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Seoul: Shares post biggest daily gain in 4-1/2-mths; won climbs

[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the currency extended gains in afternoon trade on Friday, spurred by improving sentiment after oil prices rebounded and the European Central Bank raised hopes for a further easing in monetary policy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.1 per cent, to 1,879.43 points, in its biggest daily percentage gain since September 9 last year. On the week, however, the index was down 2 percent.

Foreign investors were net sellers for a 12th straight session, unloading a net 155.5 billion won (S$185.2 million) worth of shares on the main board, preliminary data showed.

The South Korean won ended local trade at 1,200.1 to the dollar, up 1.1 per cent from Thursday's close of 1,213.7. For the week, the currency gained 1.1 per cent.

REUTERS