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Seoul: Stocks in biggest weekly gain since February 2016; Samsung hit by profit-taking

[SEOUL] South Korean shares took a breather on Friday, breaking a five-day run of gains as tech giant Samsung Electronics extended losses on profit-taking, but posted the biggest weekly per centage gain in 20 months.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended flat at 2,473.62 points, after escalating 4.3 per cent in the previous five sessions.

The index gained 3.3 per cent for the week, its largest gain since mid-February of 2016.

Samsung Electronics dropped 1.5 per cent as investors shed its shares to take profits after the company's forecast on strongest-ever quarterly earnings for July-September period, and vice-chairman Kwon Oh-hyun's surprise resignation.

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Foreign investors sold a net 35.8 billion won (S$43 million) worth of KOSPI shares for the day, ending a three-day buying spree in which they purchased 1.8 trillion won worth.

The South Korean won strengthened its highest in more than three weeks as Seoul said it had agreed with China to extend a currency swap deal.

The won was quoted at 1,128.9 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, the highest closing level since Sept 20. It was up 0.4 per cent versus Thursday's close of 1,133.2.

For the week, the currency gained 1.5 per cent, the biggest gain since mid-July.

South Korea's top presidential economic adviser said on Friday the country's stock market is expected to rise further as the economy takes in stride external risks such as tensions stemming from North Korea.

REUTERS

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