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Seoul: Shares, won rally on oil rebound, ECB remarks


[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose sharply on Friday morning on the back of broad global rally in riskier assets after the European Central Bank hinted further monetary policy easing, while oil prices bounced off from 12-year low.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 1.6 per cent at 1,870.63 points as of 0155 GMT. It was set to post the highest percentage gain since December 16, 2015.

The ECB President Mario Draghi hinted strongly on Thursday that more policy easing might happen within a few months.

"Today's rise could be a technical reversal towards recent downfall. Draghi's comments on further easing prompted a risk-on mood, with oil prices bouncing away from 12-year lows," said Kim Yong-goo, a stock analyst at Samsung Securities.

The rally was broad-based, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by 3-to-1.

The sub-index for brokerage houses led gains over the wider market, rising as much as 4.9 per cent to 1,510.21. Meritz Securities Co Ltd jumped 9.8 per cent and Daishin Securities Co Ltd was up 5.8 per cent.

Commodity-linked shares were the notable winners after oil prices rebounded, with Hanwha Chemical Corp rising 1.4 per cent and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd adding 1.1 per cent.

Shares in Hyundai Rotem Co, a train-making affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, jumped 20 per cent after winning railway contract.

Foreign investors offloaded a net 9.6 billion won (S$11.4 million) worth of shares near mid-session, relatively a small amount as compared with massive sell-off for past 11 days.

The South Korean won climbed in line with emerging currencies, supported by oil rebounds and offshore funds after ECB President signalled easing policy in the coming months.

The local currency was quoted at 1,205.4 on the dollar, up 0.7 per cent from the Thursday's domestic close of 1,213.7.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.04 points at 109.74.