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South Korea: Stocks edge down but headed for 3rd week of gains
[SEOUL] South Korean stocks edged down early on Friday after recent sharp rises but were headed for their third consecutive week of gains as stabilising commodities prices boosted the appeal of risk assets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 0.3 per cent to 1,952.05 as of 0200 GMT, pausing after a two-day rally for a combined gain of 2.2 per cent.
Foreign investors extended their net-buying spree into a sixth session and the number of gaining stocks led the losers by 397 to 385.
"The recent rebounding trend from a long period of slump prevailed as the stabilising commodities prices and a lack of fresh negative news on the emerging economies allows investors to keep on aggressive," said Kim Hak kyun, strategist at KDB Daewoo Securities.
Mr Kim said global commodities markets and news about policy direction for the world's major central banks would dominate the mood next week, including the European Central Bank's policy meeting on March 10.
Bucking the market's generally upbeat mood, shipping firm Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd plunged more than 20 per cent after the company announced a steep share merger to avoid delisting of its shares.
On the local currency market, the won was up 0.1 per cent at 1,212.8 per dollar as of 0200 GMT after hitting a nearly three-week intraday high of 1,207.8.