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Seoul: Shares extend gains on recovery hopes; Fed in focus

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose for the ninth straight session on Wednesday on hopes for a quick recovery from the coronavirus-induced economic downturn, though investors maintained a cautious stance ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy decision.

The Korean won firmed to its highest close in more than three months, and the benchmark bond yield rose.

The Seoul stock market's main KOSPI rose 6.77 points or 0.31 per cent to 2,195.69, its highest close since Feb 19. It also posted its longest winning streak since late September last year.

South Korea's unemployment rate surged to the highest level in more than 10 years in May as businesses slashed hiring due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fed policymakers will publish later in the day their first economic projections since the pandemic set off a recession in February.

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Investors are waiting for the Fed's remarks on the economic outlook and clues on future measures.

Shares of LG Chem closed up 1.73 per cent as the company said it had signed a conditional contract with China's Ningbo Shanshan to sell most of its liquid crystal display (LCD) polariser business for US$1.10 billion.

Foreigners were net sellers of 48.40 billion won (S$56.1 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won closed trading 0.55 per cent higher at 1,191.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, its highest close since March 5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted 0.6 per cent higher at 1,191.6 per dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,191.3.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield was flat at 0.840 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 2.2 basis points to 1.397 per cent.


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