March 9, 2018 / 1:44 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea stocks rise as Trump agrees to meet North Korea's Kim

    SEOUL, March 9 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose on
Friday as investors hoped tensions on the Korean peninsula will
ease after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet North
Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
1.7 percent at 2,474.09 points as of 0127 GMT, touching a
nine-day high as Trump accepted an invitation to meet Kim in
what would be the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit.
            
    The South Korean won        edged up 0.1 percent to 1,069.1
per dollar, while the 5-year CDS premium                 reached
near two-month low of 43/44 basis points. 
    The lower the number, the smaller the expected risk of a
bond default, as it tracks the cost of insuring the bond.
    "Clearly, investors are excited," said Kim Doo-un, an
economist at Hana Financial Investment. "Many would see the
summit as a chance to potentially relieve the so-called Korea
discount."
    Korea discount is a term often used to describe the
phenomenon of Korea stocks and bonds being undervalued due to
the unique geopolitical risks South Korea faces. 
    South Korean shares with exposure to North Korea rallied.
    Hyundai Elevator Co.            , the biggest stakeholder in
Hyundai Asan which has engaged in a number of North
Korea-related projects, surged 11.4 percent, while Shinwon Corp.
           , which used to operate factories in the Kaesong
industrial region near the Demilitarized Zone, jumped 5 percent.
    Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics             rose 2.2
percent, while LG Electronics             rose 1.8 percent. 
    Foreigners were net buyers of 117,709 million won worth of
shares.
    
                       0127 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,069.1       1,070.2
 Yen/won                 9.9964       10.1037
 *KTB futures            107.73        107.74
 KOSPI                 2,474.02      2,433.08
 * 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 Cynthia Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)
  
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