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Seoul: Shares gain on upbeat US data, stimulus hopes
[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose on Friday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains on upbeat US economic data and stimulus hopes, though rising domestic coronavirus cases capped gains.
The Kospi closed up 5.76 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 2,360.81. For the week, the benchmark index rose 0.8 per cent.
US economic data surprised to the upside, as jobless claims fell more than expected and existing home sales surged to a more than 14-year high.
But the sentiment was dampened after South Korean government reported 155 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, the most since Sept 11.
Shares of Posco, the world's fifth-biggest steelmaker, rose 4.8 per cent after its third-quarter operating profits fell by less than expected.
Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed local economy likely returned to growth in the third quarter, after plunging into a recession in the previous quarter.
US President Donald Trump and his Democrat challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the coronavirus pandemic at Thursday's final presidential debate, just 12 days before their Nov 3 contest.
Foreigners were net buyers of US$33.63 million worth of shares on the main board.