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Seoul: Stocks hit record high; won strengthens

The South Korean won edged higher early on Monday as ongoing concerns about US President Donald Trump's ability to push through his economic agenda dragged down the US dollar.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares notched record high early on Monday led by big gainers in technology sector such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix on expectations for strong second-quarter results, while a rebound in oil prices also gave support.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.4 per cent at 2,387.08 as of 0220 GMT. The index touched a high of 2,388.44, its highest intraday level in history.

Samsung Electronics rose nearly one per cent and SK Hynix over 2 per cent, pushing the sub-index for electric and electronics shares up 1.3 per cent.

"Local IT shares are likely to attract more investors following increased hopes of better earnings in US tech shares, and give a boost to overall stock markets," said Seo Sang-Young, stock analyst at Kiwoom Securities, in a note.

A rise in global oil prices will give additional support to the Kospi while the market players have to be aware of possible profit-taking later this week, Mr Seo said.

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Foreign investors were set to be net sellers, offloading a net 39 billion Korean won (S$47.68 million) worth of Kospi shares while individuals purchased a net 19.6 billion won worth near mid-session.

The South Korean won also strengthened, climbing for a third straight session, as US economic indicators were weaker than forecasts and expectations for the Federal Reserve's another rate hike this year largely faded.

The won was quoted at 1,134.8 to the US dollar, up 0.4 per cent from Friday's close.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 109.43.


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