Seoul shares close at near 8-month high on stimulus hopes

Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:16am EDT

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SEOUL, July 22 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose to their highest close in almost eight months on Tuesday as home builders shot up on expectations that planned government stimulus measures would benefit the property sector the most.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.52 percent at 2,028.93 points, the highest close since Dec. 2. Gainers led losers 495 to 324 as foreign investors were net buyers of 162 billion won ($158.16 million) of shares.

The construction sector index jumped 2.8 percent, its largest one-day percentage gain since Feb. 17. Daewoo Engineering and Construction led the way by rising 6.5 percent.

The government is due to unveil economic stimulus measures, which traders expected to include steps aimed at propping up the property market.

The South Korean won rose for a second consecutive session, ending local trade up 0.23 percent at 1,024.4 per dollar, compared with Monday's close of 1,026.8. (Reporting by Lydia Lim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo and Richard Borsuk)

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