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Seoul: Shares end higher, mark sharpest quarterly gain in 11 years

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South Korean shares closed higher on Tuesday on upbeat data from the United States and China, helping the benchmark index clock its sharpest quarterly gain in nearly 11 years.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed higher on Tuesday on upbeat data from the United States and China, helping the benchmark index clock its sharpest quarterly gain in nearly 11 years.

The Kospi ended up 14.85 points or 0.71 per cent at 2,108.33.

For the month, the index rose 3.88 per cent and its quarterly gain of 20.2 per cent helped it erase all losses from the coronavirus-driven plunge in the previous quarter.

Contracts to buy US previously-owned homes rebounded by the most on record in May, while China's factory activity expanded at a faster pace in June, beating expectations.

South Korea's central bank said it plans to provide dollar funds to local financial firms via repurchase agreements to stabilise the foreign exchange market if volatility rises risks stemming from the pandemic and recession.

Foreigners were net sellers of 70.90 billion won (S$82.2 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won closed trading 0.37 per cent lower at 1,203 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform. The currency ended the month up 2.9 per cent, its sharpest gain in a year, while gaining 1.2 per cent for the quarter.

The central bank also said it sold a net US$5.851 billion during the first quarter to ease the won's volatility, which has sharply heightened amid the pandemic.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted down 0.2 per cent at 1,201.7 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,201.6.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.01 point to 112.08.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.3 basis point to 0.840 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield was flat at 1.365 per cent.

REUTERS

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