REFILE-S.Korea stocks hit record high on improved global demand, won at 4-week high

(Refiles to fix wording in paragraph 6)
* KOSPI hits as high as 2,430.34
* Improved sentiment, high hopes of upbeat exports
supporting KOSPI -analyst
* Won jumps over four-week high following weak U.S. economic
data

SEOUL, July 17 (Reuters) – South Korean shares rallied to
another record high on Monday as global demand for riskier
assets improved after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s
signalled gradual policy tightening, which was reinforced by the
release of weak U.S. economic data.
U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June and retail sales
fell for a second month, pointing to tame inflation and soft
domestic demand that diminished prospects of another rate hike
from the Fed this year.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.3 percent at 2,422.97 points as of 0208 GMT, highest ever
intraday level. The index touched as high as 2,430.34.
The South Korean won also strengthened to over
four-week high as the dollar weakness continued after data
release.
The won was up 0.5 percent at 1,127.7 against the
dollar compared to Friday’s close of 1,133.3, strongest intraday
level since June 15.
“The KOSPI seem to have more room to grow as global demand
is showing improvements,” said Kim Ji-hyung, a stock analyst at
Hanyang Securities.
Kim added that the market players are also investing eagerly
on high hopes of robust exports data for the first 20 days of
July due to come out on July 20th, which can be an indicator for
end-July figure.
“Upbeat exports for another month can be a good catalyst for
further gain in the main bourse.”
Offshore investors were expected to be net buyers,
purchasing 17.3 billion Korean won ($15.34 million) worth of
KOSPI shares near mid-session.
Samsung SDS gained nearly 4 percent and Samsung
Electronics 1 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 478 to 322.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds shed
0.02 point to 109.21.

0208 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,127.7 1,133.3
Yen/won 10.0133/87 10.0178
*KTB futures 109.21 109.23
KOSPI 2,422.97 2,414.63
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)


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