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Seoul: Stocks, won hit 3-week intraday high on Opec output deal

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won rose to a three-week intraday high early on Thursday after Opec members agreed to limit crude oil output, its first agreement since 2008 to cut production.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.8 per cent at 2,068.81 points as of 0205 GMT, its highest level since September 7.

The won was quoted at 1,096.0 against the dollar, trimming its earlier gains on US dollar purchases and held steady compared to Wednesday's close of 1,096.8. The currency touched as high as 1,091.6.

Cho Byung-hyun, a stock analyst at Yuanta Securities, said Opec's decision added momentum to shares which had risen on Japan's monetary easing and Hillary Clinton's perceived victory over Donald Trump in the first presidential debate this week.

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He expected the Kospi to strengthen further as companies' overall third-quarter earnings would be positive, although some uncertainties remained with two more debates still to come in the US presidential election race.

Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, purchasing 73.5 billion Korean won (S$90.7 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

Shares related to Lotte Group climbed after a South Korean court rejected a request by prosecutors to arrest the group's chairman Shin Dong-bin, following a wide-ranging corruption investigation that became public in June.

Lotte Shopping Co Ltd gained as much as 3.6 per cent after market open, touching its highest level since June 20, 2016.

Lotte Confectionary Co Ltd rose as much as 4.9 per cent, set to mark its biggest daily percentage gain since June.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 428 to 327.