1. South Korea stocks at two-week high, won flat; Fed minutes awaited

South Korea stocks at two-week high, won flat; Fed minutes awaited

South Korean shares rose to a two-week high on Tuesday as offshore investors turned to net buyers of local equities, though gains were capped by caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's May policy meeting minutes due mid-week.

By: | Published: May 23, 2017 11:41 AM
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.7 percent at 2,319.95 points as of 0223 GMT, its highest level since May 10.

South Korean shares rose to a two-week high on Tuesday as offshore investors turned to net buyers of local equities, though gains were capped by caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s May policy meeting minutes due mid-week. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.7 percent at 2,319.95 points as of 0223 GMT, its highest level since May 10.

The won’s trading was subdued, standing at 1,117.6 against the dollar, up 0.1 percent compared to Monday’s close of 1,118.6. The Fed minutes will be released on Wednesday. “Market participants are wondering whether the minutes would change the possibility of a Fed June rate hike as U.S. first-quarter GDP was weaker than forecasts,” said Kim Sung-hwan, a stock analyst at Bookook Securities.

Kim expected South Korean stocks would extend their gains for some time. Offshore investors turned to be net buyers and purchased 13.5 billion won ($12.08 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, lending support to the index.

Shares of Netmarble Games rebounded over 2 percent on bargin hunting after three sessions of losses. Both S-Oil and SK Innovation rose 1.4 percent on global oil price rise. Advancers outnumbered decliners 513 to 275. June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 109.45.

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