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Seoul: Stocks track global gains to new high; won at 4-week peak

[SEOUL] South Korean shares edged up to hit a record high on Monday on a rally in steel and cosmetics stocks, though further gains were capped by a foreign selloff in major tech firms following a recent run-up in the sector.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.3 per cent at 2,480.05 points, a new closing high.

Steelmaker Posco climbed nearly 6 per cent and the sub-index for overall steel shares was up 4.1 per cent.

Hankook Cosmetics ended up 21 per cent while Amorepacific gained 5.2 per cent.

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Market heavyweight SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics declined 2.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively, as investors took profits following the rally in the tech sector. Electronics goods shares rose 4.7 per cent last week.

Offshore investors trimmed a net 28 billion won (S$33.6 million) worth of KOSPI shares from their portfolios.

The South Korean won strengthened to a four-week high as the US dollar was weighed by tepid US underlying inflation.

The won was quoted at 1,127.8 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, up 0.1 per cent versus Friday's close of 1,128.9.