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Seoul: Stocks at 3 week high led by market heavyweights; won slips

[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended at a three-week high on Thursday after a bout of late buying in market heavyweights as overnight gains in US equities and comments from rating agency Standard & Poor's boosted sentiment.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed up 0.7 per cent at 2,377.66 points, its highest since Aug 25.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics rose 1.4 per cent while web portal Naver gained nearly 5 per cent.

The market also got a moderate boost from credit rating agency Standard & Poor's comment that it could consider raising South Korea's sovereign credit rating if North Korea is sincere about stopping its provocative acts.

Foreign investors net sold 203.4 billion won (S$242.98 million) worth of local equities.

The South Korean won finished at a one-week low due to worries about sudden cash outflow as options and futures on local shares expired on Thursday.

The won was quoted at 1,132.6 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, down 0.4 per cent compared with Wednesday's close of 1,128.5.