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S.Korea shares, won edge up as geopolitical tensions ease
July 21, 2014 / 2:25 AM / 3 years ago

S.Korea shares, won edge up as geopolitical tensions ease

* KOSPI sees highest intraday levels of the year
    * S.Korea govt set to announce policies on Thursday aimed at
boosting economy

    SEOUL, July 21 (Reuters) - South Korean shares and the won
 edged up on Monday as geopolitical tensions eased
somewhat, with riskier assets getting a boost on expectations of
policy changes to shore up the local economy. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.38 percent at 2,027.14 points as of 0153 GMT versus an onshore
close of 2,019.42 on Friday - its best week since May. The index
touched the 2,030 mark earlier in the day for the first time
this year.
    "The local stock market is expected to continue its positive
performance from last week, riding on high hopes for an economic
recovery with support from policymakers," said Jung Seung-Jae,
an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.
    Most markets appeared to set side geopolitical concerns for
now, with the U.N. Security Council due to vote Monday on a
resolution that would condemn the downing of the Malaysian
passenger plane over the Ukraine-Russian border on Friday.
    The domestic focus will be on the finance ministry release
of revised growth forecasts for this year later this week, and
policy announcements to boost the economy under new Finance
Minister Choi Kyung-hwan.
    Foreign investors bought a net 51 billion won ($49.61
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, while domestic
institutional investors appeared headed for a fifteenth straight
day of net selling, offloading a net 31 billion won ($30.16
million).
    Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) rose 3.4 percent after
South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff endorsed a plan after markets
closed on Friday for the country to design its own mid-level
fighter jet, expected to be built by the country's sole jet
builder. 
    Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) shares fell 1.1 percent as
the South Korean government pressed ahead with its block sale of
the bank's shares on Friday. The sale of 28 million IBK shares
at a discount of 4.8 percent to Thursday's close raised about
$353 million. 
    LG Chem Ltd slipped 1.7 percent despite
announcing on Friday plans to supply batteries for electric
vehicles that will generate nearly $2 billion in 2015 sales,
mainly hit by a 43.4 decline in second quarter earnings
announced on the same day. 
    The local currency was quoted at 1,028.4 as of
0153 GMT, little changed from Friday's close at 1,029.5.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds 
ticked down 0.01 percent to 106.96. 
    
                       0153 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,028.4       1,029.5
 Yen/won           10.1511/570       10.1449
 *KTB futures           106.96        106.97
 KOSPI                2,027.14      2,019.42
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

($1 = 1028.0000 Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Lydia Lim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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