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S.Korean shares lifted by ECB stimulus hops; won little changed
January 22, 2015 / 2:32 AM / 3 years ago

S.Korean shares lifted by ECB stimulus hops; won little changed

* KOSPI tracks broad regional gains on expectations of ECB
    * Won rangebound as investors take to the sidelines ahead of

    By Joonhee Yu
    SEOUL, Jan 22 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose on
Thursday in line with regional peers as investors bet the
European Central Bank (ECB) would unveil bold stimulus measures
to support the euro zone's flagging economy.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.3 percent at 1,927.16 points as of 0205 GMT.
    Sources told Reuters that the ECB's executive board has
proposed an asset-purchase programme that would enable the ECB
to buy 50 billion euros ($58 billion) in bonds per month
starting in March. 
    "The ECB's stimulus action by itself could only have a
limited impact on shares if it doesn't support a bullish
turnaround in commodity market sentiments... a recovery in oil
prices is crucial," said Kim Joong-won, a market strategist at
Meritz Investment & Securities.
    Battered energy counters outperformed as crude prices
snapped a two-day skid, buoyed by hopes that a slew of
investment cuts by global oil companies would bring an end to
the supply glut afflicting the market.
    SK Innovation, South Korea's largest refiner,
gained 3.3 percent while S-Oil climbed 3.5 percent.
    Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering soared
6.9 percent after winning orders to build 4 LNG carriers worth
859 billion won ($793.5 million). 
    Nexen Tire surged 7.4 percent after the U.S.
slapped additional anti-dumping duties on imported tires from
China. The move seen as an opportunity for South Korean
tiremakers to increase their market share.
    Steel tubing and pipemakers rallied after Russia said it
received positive signals from North Korea after inviting Kim
Jong-un to visit, raising expectations that a gas pipeline deal
could be reached between the two countries. 
    Histeel Co, and Dong Yang Pipe both
jumped by the daily bourse limit of 15 percent.
    The benchmark KOSPI 200 gained 0.27 percent while
the junior, tech-heavy KOSDAQ rose 0.37 percent.
    The South Korean won was a shade lower against the
dollar after being locked in a tight range, as investors awaited
the ECB's policy meeting and Friday's data on domestic
fourth-quarter GDP.
    The local currency was trading at 1,084.5 to the
dollar as of 0205 GMT, compared to 1,083.4 quoted at the end of
Wednesday's session. 
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 5
basis points to trade at 108.41. 
                       0205 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,084.5       1,083.4
 Yen/won             9.1761/962        9.1651
 *KTB futures            108.41        108.46
 KOSPI                 1,927.16      1,921.23
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Joonhee Yu; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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