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Seoul: Shares post sharpest gain in 2 years, won rises
[SEOUL] South Korean shares posted their biggest daily gain in two years on Wednesday on hopes that an interest rate cut in China overnight would stabilise that country's plunging stock markets.
Chinese stocks swung wildly in morning trade but were up 1-2 per cent in the afternoon, after a fall of nearly 20 percent in four days sparked panic in global markets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended up 2.6 per cent at 1,894.09 points, its biggest percentage gain since July 11, 2013.
Sentiment was also supported by comments from South Korea's finance minister on Wednesday that the local stock market was moving "excessively" in line with Chinese shares and added investors should look at stock markets with a long-term view.
Foreigners remained sellers, however, offloading shares in the main board for a 15th straight session, their longest net selling spree since May, 2012.
During the spree, they have sold a net 3.73 trillion won (S$4.41 billion) worth of KOSPI shares, preliminary data showed.
The South Korean won extended gains on the dollar late in the session as Chinese shares remained in positive territory, closing up 0.8 per cent to 1,186.0 per dollar.