August 24, 2017 / 3:18 AM / a year ago

S.Korea stocks rise for third day, won firms with dollar on backfoot

    * KOSPI set for three consecutive days of gains
    * Investors decide recent issues didn't hurt fundamentals of
economy - analyst
    * Won edges up as dollar slumps on the back of Trump

    SEOUL, Aug 24 (Reuters) - South Korean shares climbed for a
third straight day on Thursday on expectations the market will
soon test its recent record highs, shaking off weakness on Wall
Street overnight.
    President Donald Trump's threat on Wednesday to shut down
the U.S. government over a funding dispute did weigh on the
dollar, however, supporting the South Korean won and other
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
0.4 percent at 2,375.98 points as of 0245 GMT, its highest since
Aug. 9.
    The benchmark index is only around 3 percent away from its
all-time closing high on July 24.
    The won            was quoted at 1,128.0 to the dollar, up
0.3 percent from Wednesday and its strongest intraday level
since Aug. 8. 
    "Investors found out that recent market issues like the
government's latest housing rules and tensions between North
Korea and the United States have not hurt the fundamentals of
South Korean economy, and are returning," said Rhoo Yong-seok, a
stock analyst at KB Securities.
    Since the highs in late July, the KOSPI had slumped 5.4
percent as local authorities launched the toughest housing
cooling measures yet and as tensions flared between North Korea
and the United States.
    Even so, the KOSPI is still one of the best performing stock
markets globally in 2017. It has gained 17.2 percent so far this
year, mostly supported by robust exports.             
    Rhoo said that Seoul bourse could see another strong half as
sectors like steel, chemical, and energy would strengthen over
the rest of the year.
    Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, adding 50.6
billion Korean won ($44.86 million) worth of KOSPI shares near
mid-session to their portfolios. 
    Tech giant Samsung Electronics             traded flat ahead
a court ruling on Friday in the bribery trial of vice chairman
Jay Y. Lee. 
    Lee, 49, has been in detention since February, on trial for
charges ranging from embezzlement to perjury in a scandal that
prompted the ouster of the country's ex-president Park Geun-hye.
    Samsung set out to wipe the slate clean in New York on
Wednesday with its new Galaxy Note 8 "phablet," hoping features
like dual rear cameras and its biggest-ever screen will
extinguish memories of the device's fire-prone
    LG Chemical             rose 2.3 percent while Hyundai Motor
            lost nearly 1 percent. 
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 422 to 358.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds        
gained 0.01 point to 109.13. 
                       0245 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,128.0       1,131.8
 Yen/won             10.3288/43       10.3308
 *KTB futures            109.13        109.12
 KOSPI                 2,375.98      2,366.40
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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