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Seoul: Stocks rally as Macron elected president of France, won steady

[SEOUL] South Korean shares extended their rally early on Monday as centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president on Sunday with a business-friendly vision of European integration, sparking demand for riskier assets among foreign investors.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.5 per cent at 2,253.04 points, setting a record high.

"Macron's win against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen brought about a positive impact on overall market flow, attracting offshore investors," said Lee Kyung-Min, a stock analyst at Daishin Securities.

Mr Lee expects the rally to continue for a few more days after South Korea's presidential election on Tuesday, but after that investors would have to gauge the new president's policies.

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Offshore investors were set to be net buyers for a third consecutive session, purchasing 151.7 billion Korean won (S$188.09 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

LG Electronics gained over 5 per cent on strong foreign demand. Chipmaker SK Hynix gained nearly one per cent, setting a record price.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 410 to 357.

The South Korean won held steady at 1,133.1 versus the US dollar, little changed from its previous close of 1,132.7, with Mr Macron's election victory offsetting the greenback's strength after a sharp rebound in US job growth.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.04 point to 109.37.