September 29, 2017 / 3:27 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea stocks, won up; hope for respite from N.Korea woes before holidays

    * KOSPI, won recovers slightly, helped by gains in U.S.
    * Markets still keeping eye on N.Korea risks
    * Market's focus will move to Q3 earnings after a long break

    SEOUL, Sept 29 (Reuters) - South Korean shares bounced
slightly on Friday after sizable losses over the past two weeks
as gains on Wall Street helped sooth sentiment even as investors
remained nervous over heightened tensions on the Korean
    Traders say investors are looking ahead to the third-quarter
earnings season, which will kick off after the long Oct 2-9
national holidays.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was up
0.5 percent at 2,385.70 points as of 0237 GMT. The benchmark has
lost 0.7 percent for the week so far and down nearly 2 percent
since Sept. 19.
    Global markets, including those in Seoul, have been buffeted
over the past several weeks amid an escalating war of words
between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's
pursuit of nuclear weapons. 
    "After Chuseok holiday, the KOSPI is likely get back on its
upward trend as many expect robust earnings from South Korea for
July-September period," said Kim Sung-hwan, a stock analyst at
Bookook Securities.
    The South Korean won            also edged up to 1,146.0 on
the dollar, up 0.3 percent versus Thursday's close of 1,149.1.
    South Korea's finance ministry said it would act to
stabilise any financial market volatilities across the long
holiday week, and act swiftly in case of unexpected events.
    On the Seoul bourse, advancing issues far outnumbered
declining ones 527 to 278.
    Market heavyweights were mostly up with web portal Naver
            gaining nearly 2 percent and Hyundai Motor
            up 2.4 percent. 
    December futures on three-year treasury bonds         gained
0.05 point to 108.62 after a huge sell-off earlier this week. 
    Foreign investors offloaded about 3 trillion won worth of
South Korean treasury bonds on Tuesday and Wednesday in the face
of renewed tensions between North Korea and the United States.
                       0237 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,146.0       1,149.1
 Yen/won             10.1731/47       10.1956
 *KTB futures            108.62        108.57
 KOSPI                 2,385.70      2,373.14
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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