March 13, 2017 / 2:46 AM / a year ago

S.Korea stocks at over 20-mth high in wake of Park's dismissal

    * KOSPI up more than 1 pct before midday
    * Q1 earnings for local companies expected to be strong
    * Won rises on weaker dollar

    SEOUL, March 13 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose to a
more than 20-month intraday high early on Monday as market
sentiment improved after the ouster of President Park Geun-hye
last week while stronger global stocks also lent support.
    Two days after a court dismissed her over a corruption
scandal, the disgraced former leader left the presidential Blue
House on Sunday to face life as a private citizen and the
possibility of jail.             
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
1.1 percent at 2,121.26 points as of 0225 GMT, its strongest
level since May 29, 2015.
    Bae Sung-young, a stock analyst at Hyundai Securities said
that the hopes of upbeat first-quarter earnings for the overall
local companies could further push the index up.
    Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics             rose 1.8
percent, while S-Oil             rose nearly 6 percent on a
    Bae said market players were focusing on a U.S. Federal
Reserve policy meeting this week but were more keen to find out
whether there would be more than three rate increases this year,
not the March rate increase itself.
    The coming meeting is set for March 14-15.  
    Offshore investors were set to be buyers for a sixth
straight session, purchasing a net 164.3 billion won ($142.98
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session. 
    Advancers far outnumbered decliners 491 to 290.
    The won        rose after dollar weakened on
slower-than-expected rise in U.S. wages.
    The won            was quoted at 1,149.4 to the greenback,
up 0.7 percent compared to the previous close of 1,157.4.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds         gained
0.04 point to 109.29. 
                       0225 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,149.4       1,157.4
 Yen/won             10.0041/98        9.9976
 *KTB futures            109.29        109.25
 KOSPI                 2,121.26      2,097.35
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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