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Seoul: Shares rise on hopes for Greek deal; won eases a tad


[SEOUL] Seoul shares rose around 1 per cent on Monday morning, helped by both China's stock markets opening more strongly and hopes among South Korean investors that Greece and its creditors would eventually reach some deal.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 1.2 per cent to 2,055.92 by 0338 GMT. Gainers led losers by 3.2 to 1.

"Investors see Greece and its creditors eventually reaching a deal over Greece, and the stronger opening in the Chinese shares also helped," said Kim Yoon-seo, an analyst at KTB Investment & Securities.

Foreign investors were more cautious over prospects of a deal in Greece, and stood to the sidelines.

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Currency traders took a similar view as the won eased 0.2 per cent to 1,131.5 per dollar.

Investors in emerging markets are acutely concerned about the potential risks posed by Greece exiting the eurozone if no compromise is reached, and export-driven economies, like South Korea, could suffer a drop in European demand for their goods.

Euro zone leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels were expected to reconvene in full session early on Monday to discuss a compromise proposal on a third bailout for Greece. The two sides remain divided the role suggested for the IMF and to proposals for an independent fund to hold Greek assets ahead of privatisation.

China's Shanghai Composite Index and CSI300 index opened up 1.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively, raising hopes that the share markets in South Korea's biggest export customer could be stabilising.

Chinese trade date showing imports fell far less than expect in June was also positive, but had little immediate impact.

Hotel Shilla Co Ltd and Hanwha Galleria Timeworld Co Ltd rose after they won licences to operate duty-free stores in downtown Seoul late on Friday.

Hotel Shilla gained 2.3 per cent after rising as much as 11.7 to a life-time high of 143,000 won, while Hanwha Galleria Timeworld was up by 29.5 per cent at a record-high 101,000 won.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds were down 0.03 point at 108.89.