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Seoul: Stocks close at record high on vaccine hopes, Biden transition


[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended at a record high on Tuesday, with Samsung Electronics leading gains, as Covid-19 vaccine developments and US President-elect Joe Biden receiving formal approval for his White House transition boosted sentiment.

The Kospi closed up 15.17 points, or 0.58per cent at 2,617.76, extending its rally for a fourth day. It jumped as much as 1 per cent to an all-time high earlier in the session.

Chip giant Samsung Electronics gained for the third straight session, after surging as much as 2.96 per cent to a record high in early trading, a day after data showed a surge in South Korea's chip exports.

Foreigners were net buyers for a 14th straight session, the longest buying spree since August 2016. They have bought a total net 7.09 trillion won (S$8.5 billion) worth of shares over the past 14 sessions.

AstraZeneca on Monday said its Covid-19 vaccine, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its rivals, could be as much as 90 per cent effective.

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US President Donald Trump on Monday allowed officials to proceed with a transition to Mr Biden, giving his Democratic rival access to briefings and funding even as he vowed to persist with efforts to fight the election results.


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