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Seoul: Stocks, won rebound on strong Wall Street gains

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares came off early lows to trade higher on Tuesday, tracking strong gains on Wall Street and as the US dollar declined against most major currencies.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 1.15 per cent at 1,985.86 as of 0240 GMT after two straight sessions of declines.

US stocks rose on Monday on strong economic data with the Dow Jones industrials scaling to fresh record highs.

Samsung Electronics was up 1.75 per cent at 1,748,000 won near mid-session, hovering near record high of 1,753,000 won hit last week. Hyundai Motor rose 1.87 per cent to 1,365,000 won.

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Local equities are unlikely to extend gains further on persistent uncertainties, said Cho Byung-hyun, a stock analyst with Yuanta Securities.

"It is hard to tell which direction the market would go from here, but uncertainties related to policy changes in the ECB and the Federal Reserve are likely to cap any further gains," said Mr Cho, adding that trading would remain cautious this week.

At home, political uncertainties persist as President Park Geun-hye faces an impeachment vote on Friday, which could pave way for her to become the first democratically elected leader to leave office early in disgrace. She is suspected to have colluded with a friend in an influence-peddling scandal.

The won was quoted at 1,171.5 to the US dollar as of 0240 GMT, up 0.26 per cent versus Monday's close of 1,174.6.

Foreign investors net bought 40.07 billion won (S$48.6 million) of Kospi shares near mid-session, supporting the index.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by 587 to 207.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 points to 109.32.

REUTERS

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