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Seoul: Shares up after rate cut; won edges up


[SEOUL] South Korean shares snapped a four-day losing streak and rose 1 per cent on Friday as local institutions turned net buyers after Thursday's surprise interest-rate cut by the central bank.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was at 1,990.05 points as of 0245 GMT, led by shares of leisure and media companies on hopes that the rate cut would help lift sluggish domestic demand.

The leisure business index rose 3.3 per cent to 2,055.33 points, and the media sector index climbed 2.9 per cent to 944.10 points. Exporters also rose, with Samsung Electronics gaining 1.9 per cent.

"The rate cut gave a big boost to the stock market today almost across the board on expectation that both domestic business firms and exporters would benefit from the move," said Kim Ji-un, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

Local institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth some 3.9 billion won as of 0245 GMT. It was a small amount but marked their first net purchases in 12 sessions.

The Bank of Korea cut the policy interest rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75 per cent on Thursday to support economic growth, a surprise move as analysts had expected a reduction sometime later in the year.

On the currency market, the won edged up 0.3 per cent to 1,122.9 per dollar largely in line with the dollar's decline since late Thursday trading.

The lead March treasury bond futures were up 0.10 points at 109.03 by 0245 GMT.


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