January 21, 2014 / 6:15 AM / 4 years ago

Seoul shares at 3-week closing high as China worries ease

SEOUL, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose to their highest closing level in nearly three-weeks on Tuesday after Chinese money rates eased, improving risk sentiment, with shipbuilders and automakers outperforming.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.5 percent at 1,963.89 points, its highest close since Jan. 2.

Institutional investors were net buyers for a fourth straight day, purchasing a net 64.6 billion won ($60.7 million) worth of KOSPI shares to support the market.

Automaker Hyundai Motor Co rose 2.2 percent and affiliate Kia Motors Corp gained 1.6 percent.

Shipbuilding was the best-performing sector on the back of Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd, which jumped 4.1 percent.

China’s money market rates fell sharply on Tuesday after the central bank dumped more than 255 billion yuan ($42 billion) into the financial system, easing concerns another credit crunch was underway less than a month after a late December squeeze. ($1 = 1063.6500 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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