Seoul: Shares gain as upbeat US jobs report fuels rebound hopes

[SEOUL] South Korean shares gained on Monday for the seventh session, the longest winning streak since last September, as upbeat US employment data boosted hopes of a swift economic recovery. The won and the benchmark bond yield strengthened.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi closed up 2.42 points, or 0.11%, at 2,184.29.

The new wave of optimism was triggered by US nonfarm payrolls, which unexpectedly rose by 2.51 million jobs in May after suffering record losses in the prior month, offering the clearest signal yet that the downturn triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic was probably over.

The data raised hopes of a quick economic recovery as governments worldwide ease social curbs aimed at stemming the virus.

However, blue-chip Samsung Electronics closed 1.08 per cent lower as the de facto leader of Samsung Group, Jay Lee, appeared before a South Korean court, awaiting a ruling on whether new allegations will send him back to jail after more than two years of freedom.

Stocks did trim early gains, but there is no sign that they have reached a ceiling, said Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

Foreigners were net buyers of 7.50 billion won (S$8.7 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won closed trading 0.19 per cent higher at 1,204.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, its highest close since March 11.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted 0.2 per cent lower at 1,204 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,203.6.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds was unchanged at 111.90.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.1 basis points to 0.904 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.8 basis point to 1.457 per cent.


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