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South Korea: Shares edge up on earnings hopes; won dips

[SEOUL] South Koran shares edged up on Monday, led by securities companies on hopes of stronger earnings.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.3 per cent to 2,026.05 points by 0255 GMT. Foreigners were net buyers of 30 billion won (S$37.25million) worth of shares, reversing two straight selling sessions.

"Low oil prices and low interest rates are providing the momentum for improvement in profits at the manufacturing sector," said Kim Joong-won, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

The sub-index for brokerage houses rose 2.1 per cent to 2,240.61, with Eugene Investment and Securities jumping 7.1 per cent and Golden Bridge Investment and Securities 7.3 per cent.

The South Korean won was down 0.2 per cent at 1,105.7 per dollar, compared with the previous close of 1,103.3, on profit-taking after gains for the past two weeks.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds ticked down 0.01 point to 109.32 as of 0255 GMT.

REUTERS