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Seoul: Stocks, won steady as investors buy cheap stocks


[SEOUL] South Korean shares showed signs of stabilisation on Wednesday after five days of decline, as investors took advantage of cheap stocks affected by weak commodities and oil prices.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was quoted at 1,949.40 points as of 0245 GMT, barely changed from the previous close of 1,949.04.

"Today's rebound came in with the help of bargain hunting following continuous falls," said Kim Sung-hwan, a stock analyst at Bookook Securities.

Mr Kim, however, held a cautious outlook on market direction.

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Data on Wednesday showed China's annual CPI grew a faster-than-expected 1.5 per cent in November, while the PPI was unchanged for four consecutive months at -5.9 per cent on year.

Food & Beverages stocks underpinned the Kospi index, with Lotte Confectionery Co rising 6.9 per cent after its parent company, Lotte Group, said it would consider listing its Japanese confectionery business in the Japanese stock market. Lotte Shopping Co also gained 4.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, car makers underperformed the broader market, with bellwether Hyundai Motor Co Ltd down 0.3 per cent and Kia Motors Corp losing 1.1 per cent.

Local institutions and individuals bucked the main bourse, purchasing a net 34.3 billion won (S$40.9 million) and 5.7 billion won of KOSPI shares, respectively, by midday. Foreign stock selling continued for a sixth consecutive day.

On the currency market, the South Korean won was down 0.1 percent at 1,179.2 per dollar.

"After such a gain, more than 20 points for the last two days, staying in a nearly flat range appears technical," said Jung Sung-yoon, a fixed income analyst at Hyundai Futures.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds edged down 0.01 points to 109.30.