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Seoul: Robust foreign buying pushes South Korea shares to new highs, boosts won

[SEOUL] South Korean shares extended gains to a new record high on Thursday as foreign investors piled in on expectations of hardy third-quarter earnings, especially from major tech firms such Samsung Electronics.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended up 0.7 per cent at 2,474.76 points, its highest-ever close. The advance brought its gains so far this week to 3.4 per cent.

Samsung Electronics' shares erased earlier losses to end up 0.3 per cent at 2.74 million won, a record high.

The stock has surged nearly 7 per cent so far this week on expectations it will forecast a record quarterly profit on Friday thanks to the strong market for memory chips and a recovery in its mobile device earnings.

Offshore investors have been heavy net buyers for three consecutive sessions, adding 243.5 billion won (S$290.9 million) worth to their portfolios on Thursday.

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They purchased about 1.5 trillion won worth on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The strong inflows, and a softer dollar, helped lift the South Korean won to a near three-week high.

The won was quoted at 1,133.2 against the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, the strongest since Sept 25. It was up 0.2 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,135.2.


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