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Seoul: Shares hit 3-1/2-month high on rebound hopes, stimulus package

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South Korean shares on Wednesday surged to their highest since February as hopes of an economic rebound overshadowed worries of the US civil unrest.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares on Wednesday surged to their highest since February as hopes of an economic rebound overshadowed worries of the US civil unrest.

The Korean won strengthened to a three-week high, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

South Korea unveiled on Wednesday a 35.3 trillion won (S$40.53 billion) supplementary budget to help lift Asia's fourth-largest economy, facing its worst growth since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

The Seoul stock market's main Kospi was up 54.82 points or 2.6 per cent at 2,142.01, as of 0215 GMT.

The index touched its highest intra-day trading level since Feb 21.

Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rose as much as 6 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively, leading the gains in Kospi.

Market heavyweights are leading the benchmark with chipmakers surging on better earnings outlook and carmakers rising on improved global sales, said Na Jeong Hwan, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities.

Shares of Hyundai Motor Co rose as much as 5.4 per cent to their highest since March 9, after the automaker reported a jump in US retail sales on Tuesday.

Foreigners were net buyers of 132.2 billion won worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted 0.72 per cent higher at 1,216.6 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, its highest since May 11.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted 0.2 per cent higher at 1,216.6 per US dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,216.1.

In money and debt markets, June futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.06 point to 112.07.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.3 basis point to 0.857 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.2 basis point to 1.389 per cent.

REUTERS

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