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Seoul: Stocks jump as investors hunt for bargains; North Korea fears recede

[SEOUL] South Korean shares rebounded to their highest in more than a week early on Monday, driven by heavy buying in tech shares, while jitters from geopolitical risks around North Korea have quietened down.

North Korea warned earlier on the day the United States would pay a "due price" for spearheading a UN Security Council resolution against its latest nuclear test, which the markets pretty much ignored.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.8 per cent at 2,362.80 points as of 0241 GMT. The index touched as high as 2,369.72 points.

"It's too early to say the risks are gone, but one thing for sure is that market players now think the situation won't get worse as it did some weeks ago," said Lee Kyung Min, a stock analyst at Daishin Securities.

Mr Lee added that many foreign investors and domestic institutions are purchasing tech and chemicals shares as quarterly earning season nears.

"There will be more and more bargain-hunting ahead of earnings releases for the third quarter, and those shares on the rise for today are expected to be in the lead."

Tech giant Samsung Electronics jumped over two per cent while the overall electric and electronics shares gained 1.9 per cent.

The chemical industries sub-index was up 1.4 per cent.

Offshore investors purchased a net 4 billion Korean won (S$4.77 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 417 to 366.

The South Korean won was a tentative 1,127.8 to the US dollar as the greenback recovered, barely changed from Friday's close of 1,127.5.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.01 point to 109.30.