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Seoul: Stocks close at one-week high; won falls

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended at their highest in a week on Thursday as investors heavily purchased local equities after sentiment improved on US President Donald Trump's speech this week, which seemed promising to the economy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed up 0.5 per cent at 2,102.65, highest since Feb 23.

Lotte Group-related shares declined amid heightened tension between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of a US missile defence system in South Korea, while cyber attacks from China crashed the website of Lotte Duty Free.

Lotte Shopping Co Ltd dived 7.4 per cent, while Lotte Food and Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co Ltd dropped four per cent.

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Foreign investors bought a net 656.7 billion won (S$811.53 million) worth of Kospi shares for the day.

The South Korean won fell to its lowest in more than a week as Federal Reserve looked set for a rate hike this month.

The won was quoted at 1,141.6 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, down one per cent compared with Tuesday's close of 1,130.7. It was the won's lowest closing level since Feb 21.

South Korean markets were closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.

REUTERS

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