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Seoul: Shares, won recover as investors square positions ahead of long holiday

[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won rose on Friday, clawing back some losses from the last few weeks, as investors set aside concerns about North Korea and squared outstanding positions ahead of a long holiday break.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.9 per cent at 2,394.47 points after losing nearly 2 per cent since Sept 19.

The index gained 0.2 per cent for the week and 1.3 per cent for the month, but ended the quarter only a whisker higher as escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States kept investors on edge.

Foreign investors purchased a net 30.3 billion won (S$36 million) worth of KOSPI shares on Friday, snapping a four-day selling streak during which they sold a net 820.3 billion won.

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The South Korean won rose 0.3 per cent to finish onshore trade at 1,145.4 to the dollar, compared with Thursday's close of 1,149.1.

For the week, the currency fell 0.8 per cent, its fourth consecutive losing week. It was also pressured by worries over North Korea as well as a resurgent US dollar.

The won shed 1.6 per cent for September.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.06 point to 108.63 after a net three trillion won worth of selloff on Tuesday and Wednesday.

South Korean markets will be closed from Oct 2-9 due to national holiday break.

REUTERS