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Seoul: Shares jump 1.7% on upbeat trade, manufacturing data

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares jumped on Tuesday as upbeat trade and manufacturing data lifted hopes of a swifter economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The won ended flat, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The benchmark Kospi closed 42.91 points or 1.66 per cent higher at 2,634.25, recovering from a 1.6 per cent decline in the previous session.

Majority of heavyweights strengthened and Samsung Electronics, up 1.7 per cent, and SK Hynix up 3.1 per cent, were the biggest boosts to the index.

Brisk global demand for South Korea's memory chips helped fuel a 4 per cent gain in its exports in November, rebounding from October's decline to signal a rebound from the pandemic-induced slump this year.

The country's November factory activity also accelerated at its fastest pace in nearly a decade, a business survey showed, supported by a steady recovery in global demand and production.

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Meanwhile, neighbouring China's factory activity also grew at the sharpest rate in a decade in November, survey data showed, adding to the sentiment.

Asiana Airlines' shares surged 11.1 per cent after a Seoul court allowed Hanjin Kal's stock issuance plans, clearing the way for the flag carrier Korean Air Lines' planned acquisition of indebted company.

Foreigners turned net buyers of 73.4 billion won (S$88.7 million) worth of Kospi shares, after offloading a record net 2.4 trillion won worth of shares on Monday.

The won ended at 1,106.2 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.03 per cent stronger than its previous close at 1,106.5.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,106.0 per dollar, 0.3 per cent stronger from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,106.2.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.1 basis point to 0.985 per cent.


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