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Seoul: Won, stocks up on global equities rise, BOK rate decision

[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares rose on Tuesday morning, supported by an upward trend in global equities and the Bank of Korea's decision to keep interest rates steady.

South Korean shares rebounded after two sessions of declines, touching a new high for the year, while the local currency was quoted at 1,142.9 against the dollar, up 0.6 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,150.2.

"Broad risk-on mood was set as New York stocks beat their highest level of the year overnight despite unstable oil prices, supporting the won's gain," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Jung added that the won will gain a bit more, reacting to the Bank of Korea's decision to keep rates steady, although the impact would not last long.

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As expected, South Korea's central bank held rates steady on Tuesday for the 10th straight month, at 1.50 per cent.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.1 per cent at 2,011.44 points as of 0216 GMT.

Offshore investors looked set for a fourth straight buying session, purchasing a net 53.0 billion Korean won (S$62.7 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

Gaining issues outnumbered losing ones 457 to 330.

Building company Doosan Engineering & Construction Co Ltd surged near 30 per cent to a five-month high on strong first-quarter results.

Other major building companies' shares also rose, with Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co Ltd up 6.8 per cent and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd up 2.5 per cent.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was down 0.9 per cent.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.05 point to 110.07.