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Seoul: Stocks rise on oil, Wall St but gains capped; won trapped


[SEOUL] South Korean shares inched up early on Thursday, cheered by gains in Wall Street overnight and as oil rebounded but gains were capped by market participants'wariness of oil price volatility, which could quickly sour"risk-on" sentiment.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was set to rebound from two sessions of losses, up half a per cent at 1,922.03 points as of 0204 GMT.

"We can't rule out immediate unrest in global oil prices, but there are signs that the bottom is firming," said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Yuanta Korea.

"Investors should be advised not to buy into the market aggressively amid poor global economic circumstances like now."

Shares in Korea Electric Power Corp were up 3.7 per cent in early trade, reaching a new record high for the stock. KEPCO stocks have been rallying in recent months as low global oil prices are seen as a positive for the company, investors said.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was up 0.3 per cent while Hyundai Motor Co also enjoyed a 0.3 per cent rise in early trade.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 512 to 270.

The South Korean won was effectively steady from its previous close as investors were highly cautious of more possible intervention by foreign exchange authorities, who have been suspected of dollar buying in recent sessions to curb the won's weakness.

The won was quoted at 1,236.6 against the dollar, down 0.2 per cent from its previous onshore close of 1,234.4.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds were flat, trading at 110.26.


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