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Seoul: Stocks rise on signs of thawing China ties

[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose in early trade on Friday, clawing back losses from the previous session as signs of easing political tensions between Seoul and China supported consumer and travel stocks and as investors eyed corporate earnings.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 0.6 per cent at 2,495.41 points as of 0220 GMT. It fell 0.5 per cent on Thursday.

Hotel Lotte was told by Chinese tour company Ctrip that it is considering resuming sales of individual tours to South Korea on its website, Yonhap News Agency said, which pushed Lotte Tour Development shares up 30 per cent, their daily stock trading limit.

Tours like the ones Ctrip offers had been unofficially banned by China due to political disputes between the two countries regarding Seoul's deployment of US anti-missile system.

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South Korea's cosmetics-related companies, whose biggest export market is China, also gained. Amorepacific was up nearly 2 per cent and Hankook Cosmetic rose 5.3 per cent.

"Thaad-related (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) shares would show great recovery during the session, supporting the benchmark index," said Seo Sang Young, a stock analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

"The index would extend further or pare gains once the market players check out the third-quarter earnings coming out later."

South Korean firms like Hyundai Mobis, Kia Motors will be releasing their earnings for July-September period on the day.

Advancing issues far outnumbered decliners 527 to 255.

The South Korean won slumped as the greenback was largely buoyed by European Central Bank's dovish policy move on Thursday.

The ECB took a step towards weaning the euro zone off loose monetary policy but promised years of stimulus and even left the door open to backtracking.

The won stood at 1,129.2 to the US dollar, down 0.4 per cent compared to Thursday's close of 1,124.6.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 107.76.

REUTERS