October 12, 2017 / 7:03 AM / 8 days ago

Robust foreign buying pushes S.Korea shares to new highs, boosts won

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SEOUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) - South Korean shares extended gains to a new record high on Thursday as foreign investors piled in on expectations of hardy third-quarter earnings, especially from major tech firms such Samsung Electronics.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended up 0.7 percent at 2,474.76 points, its highest-ever close. The advance brought its gains so far this week to 3.4 percent.

Samsung Electronics’ shares erased earlier losses to end up 0.3 percent at 2,740,000 won, a record high.

The stock has surged nearly 7 percent so far this week on expectations it will forecast a record quarterly profit on Friday thanks to the strong market for memory chips and a recovery in its mobile device earnings.

Offshore investors have been heavy net buyers for three consecutive sessions, adding 243.5 billion won ($214.94 million) worth to their portfolios on Thursday.

They purchased about 1.5 trillion won worth on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The strong inflows, and a softer dollar, helped lift the South Korean won to a near three-week high.

The won was quoted at 1,133.2 against the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, the strongest since Sept. 25. It was up 0.2 percent from Wednesday’s close of 1,135.2. ($1 = 1,132.4100 won) (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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