October 30, 2017 / 3:38 AM / 3 months ago

S.Korea stocks climb to all-time high, won strenthens

    * KOSPI edges up as high as 2,513.87 pts led by tech gains
    * Lotte's new holding company starts trading; Lotte Shopping
falls
    * Daewoo Shipbuilding's shares slump on opening after
trading halt
    * Won up; next Federal Reserve chairman eyed

    SEOUL, Oct 30 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose to a new
peak early on Monday as gains on Wall Street boosted sentiment
in the tech sector, but heavy profit-taking among domestic
institutions trimmed some gains.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
0.2 percent at 2,502.01 points as of 0300 GMT. The index climbed
as high as 2,513.87 points as soon as trading began. 
    "Over the weekend, many expected the KOSPI to safely reach
over 2,500 points following gains in U.S. stock markets, which
made local institutions take profit," said Kim Ji-hyung, a stock
analyst at Hanyang Securities.
    Domestic institutions trimmed a net 306.7 billion won
($272.86 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, while
foreign investors purchased 75.3 billion won worth. 
    Kim added that investor appetite for local equities was
still strong especially in market heavyweight tech shares such
as Samsung Electronics             and SK Hynix            .
    Samsung Electronics rose 1.8 percent and SK Hynix and
climbed 2.9 percent.
    Shares in Lotte Corporation, Lotte Group's newly-created
holding company            , opened at 64,000 won per share on
Monday as they were listed on South Korea's main bourse. Its
flagship retailer Lotte Shopping             opened down 8.3
percent from its previous close before trading was suspended in
late September.             
    Daewoo Shipbuilding             also resumed trading, but
plunged as much as 64.9 percent to 15,700 won from its last
traded price on July 14, 2016.             
    In currency markets, the South Korean won        firmed as
the greenback lost ground on widespread speculation that Federal
Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, who is less hawkish, is likely
to be the next Fed Chair. 
    The won            stood at 1,124.4 against the dollar, up
0.5 percent from Friday's close of 1,130.5.
    December futures on three-year treasury bonds         gained
0.07 points to 107.87 after the Bank of Korea said it plans to
buy government bonds in an auction this week as part of measures
to stabilise the local bond market.             
    
                       0300 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,124.4       1,130.5
 Yen/won             9.8909/970        9.8898
 *KTB futures            107.87        107.80
 KOSPI                 2,502.01      2,496.63
 * 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 Jacqueline Wong)
  
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