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Seoul: Stocks at near 2-year high on US data, stimulus breakthrough


[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended at a near two-year high on Tuesday, buoyed by strong US manufacturing data and as efforts to bring out a coronavirus relief bill resumed. The Korean won inched down, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The benchmark Kospi closed up 28.93 points or 1.29 per cent at 2,279.97 - its highest close since Oct 2, 2018. That also marked the biggest daily gain in a week.

US manufacturing activity accelerated to its highest level in nearly one and a half years in July as orders increased, helping investors look past broader worries about the coronavirus and global economy.

The top Democrats in the US Congress and White House negotiators said on Monday they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus relief bill.

Shares of Samsung Electronics rose as much as 2.3 per cent and led gains on the Kospi, tracking overnight strength in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index.

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Foreigners were net sellers of 58.2 billion won (S$67 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won ended trading at 1,194.1 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.06 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,193.4.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,193.5 per US dollar, down 0.1 per cent from the previous session, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,193.5.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.5 per cent.

The trading volume during the session in the Kospi index was 712.56 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 900, the number of advancing shares was 672.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 point to 112.27.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 0.5 basis point to 0.805 per cent in late afternoon trade, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 0.2 basis point to 1.309 per cent.


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