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Seoul: Stocks touch over 3-month high on optimistic outlook; won eases

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose to their highest intraday level in three months early on Wednesday as foreign investors snapped up shares in expectations that fourth-quarter earnings would be stronger.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.9 per cent at 2,064.08 points as of 0214 GMT, the highest since Oct 7, 2016.

"December quarter data is to be released in coming weeks, and market players believe that most of the companies will meet the current market consensus (fiorecasts)," said Bae Sung-Young, a stock analyst at Hyundai Securities.

Offshore investors were poised to be net buyers for 11 sessions, purchasing 240.4 billion Korean won (S$288.23 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Market voices on:

Steelmaker Posco rose more than 5 per cent, while tech giant Samsung Electronics gained 1.3 per cent, making fresh highs.

Decliners and advancers were almost even at 396 to 389.

The South Korean won was quoted at 1,198.9 to the US dollar, down 0.4 per cent compared to Tuesday's close of 1,194.6.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds lost 0.02 point to 109.59.