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Seoul: Stocks end near 2-year high on Samsung Electronics rally; won calm

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares brushed a 23-month high on Friday as market-heavy Samsung Electronics rallied to another record high, while foreign investors continued their buying-spree of local equities.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed up 0.7 per cent at 2,164.58 points, the highest close since April 2015.

For the week, the index rose 3.2 per cent, its biggest weekly percentage gain since July 2016.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was up 1.3 per cent, marking the fifth straight session of gains.

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Offshore investors have been stock buyers for 10 consecutive sessions, purchasing a net 251.63 billion won (S$314.36 million) worth of Kospi shares for the day.

The South Korean won was steady throughout the day, standing at 1,130.9 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade compared to Thursday's close of 1,132.0.

The local currency gained 2.3 per cent, marking the biggest weekly percentage gain since mid-July 2016.