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Seoul shares rise to two-week high as Obama wins re-election
November 7, 2012 / 6:56 AM / in 5 years

Seoul shares rise to two-week high as Obama wins re-election

* Concern over U.S. fiscal cliff and Greek vote weigh

* Exporters bullish; Hyundai Motor up 2.2 pct

* KEPCO drops 3 pct after CEO resigns

SEOUL, Nov 7 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose on Wednesday to its highest level in two weeks as U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election, dispelling uncertainty after a choppy trading session.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.49 percent at 1,937.55 points, reversing losses earlier in the session to reach its highest closing since Oct. 22.

“With uncertainty over the U.S. election gone, non-dollar currencies strengthened against the U.S. dollar and lifted the main board,” said Kim Ho-yoon, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.

“However, concern about the U.S. fiscal cliff and imminent Greek austerity vote kept the index from rising higher.”

Exporter shares such as tech and auto were bullish, with market heavyweight Samsung Electronics up 1 percent while Hyundai Motor climbed 2.2 percent. The two companies account for 20 percent of the KOSPI’s market capitalisation.

Investors avoided defensive plays such as utilities, pharmaceuticals and insurance, with Samsung Life Insurance down 1 percent while Green Cross Corp fell 4.6 percent.

State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) dropped 3 percent, after its CEO Kim Joong-kyum resigned for what KEPCO officials said were “personal reasons.”

Foreign investors bought a net 88.5 billion won ($81.14 million) worth of KOSPI shares, buttressing the index.

Gainers closely outnumbered decliners 410 to 401.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed up 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.2 percent higher.

Move on day +0.49 percent

12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012

12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011

Change on yr +6.1 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1090.7000 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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