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Seoul: Stocks, won firmer as sentiment improves after impeachment

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares ended at a more than one-week high on Friday as investment sentiment improved after the Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye from office over a graft scandal involving the country's conglomerates.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed up 0.3 per cent at 2,097.35 points, the highest since March 2. "Today's ruling will help remove market uncertainty. Should the liberal party, which emphasises reform of conglomerates, take power, this will put pressure on heavyweight shares like Samsung Electronics," said Park Jung-Hoon, fund manager at HDC Asset Management in Seoul.

Offshore investors marked a fifth straight session of stock purchases, buying a net 160 billion won (S$196.2 million) worth of Kospi shares for the day.

The index gained 0.9 per cent for the week, its biggest weekly per centage gain since mid-January.

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The South Korean won also gained slightly to be quoted at 1,157.4 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, up 0.1 per cent compared to Thursday's close of 1,158.1.