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S. Korea stocks higher on bullish central bank outlook
October 20, 2017 / 3:26 AM / 2 months ago

S. Korea stocks higher on bullish central bank outlook

    * KOSPI buoyed by BOK's outlook upgrade, gains in tech
    * Survey results on nuclear reactors construction boosts
related shares
    * Futures for Korea Treasury Bonds continue to fall

    SEOUL, Oct 20 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose early on
Friday as a bullish economic outlook from the central bank
bolstered investor sentiment, while market heavyweight tech
firms recovered earlier losses.
    The Bank of Korea kept policy unchanged on Thursday but
upgraded its growth outlook to 3 percent, boosting expectations
for an interest rate hike in coming months.             
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
0.4 percent at 2,483.22 points as of 0254 GMT.
    "Investors are now taking the BOK's bullish stance into
account as the markets did not price it in that much yesterday
due to a heavy sell-off in major IT companies on profit-taking,"
said Kim Ji-hyung, a stock analyst at Hanyang Securities.
    Major tech firms like Samsung Electronics             and SK
Hynix             gained nearly 2 percent and 3.5 percent,
respectively.
    Foreign investors purchased a net 57.3 billion won ($50.59
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, supporting the
benchmark index.
    A surprise announcement from a government-organised
committee recommending the resumption of nuclear reactor
construction pushed utilities shares higher.             
    Shares of Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO)            
jumped 5.6 percent, while KEPCO Engineering & Construction
            and KEPCO Plant Service & Engineering            
surged as much as 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
    The South Korean won            was flat at 1,132.9 to the
dollar compared with Thursday's close of 1,132.4.
    December futures on three-year treasury bonds        
continued to fall on traders' views that a central bank rate
hike could come sooner than expected. The futures shed 0.24 of a
point to 108.03 after falling 0.23 of a point on Thursday.
    
                       0254 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,132.9       1,132.4
 Yen/won             10.0062/24       10.0214
 *KTB futures            108.03        108.27
 KOSPI                 2,483.22      2,473.06
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

For a round up of market news, please see our daily Asia Morning
Call report            

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  

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