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Roundup: S.Korean shares rise on China stimulus

Xinhua, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

South Korean shares started the first day of this week in positive terrain on Monday as investors' sentiment was bolstered by China's monetary stimulus over the weekend.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 3.21 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,146.71 at the close. Trading volume stood at 503.4 million shares worth 6.97 trillion won (6.46 billion U.S. dollars).

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said Sunday that it will lower the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 100 basis points to 18.5 percent from Monday for commercial banks.

Investors'sentiment was boosted as China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, turned out to be aggressive in stimulating the world's second-largest economy.

The positive sentiment was offset by renewed worries about the so-called Grexit, or possible exit of Greece from the euro zone economic bloc. Greece and the euro zone are scheduled to talk about bailout funds Friday.

Amid expectations for ample liquidity in the global market caused by quantitative easing in Europe and the RRR cut in China, foreigners bought a net 285 billion won worth of local stocks, keeping a buying trend for 10 straight sessions.

Retail investors raised stock holdings by 29 billion won, but institutional investors sold stocks worth 312 billion won.

Large-cap shares ended mixed. Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 2.7 percent, and Cheil Industries, the de-facto holding company of Samsung Group, climbed 3.2 percent. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.4 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix slid 0.7 percent.

The South Korean currency finished at 1,079.2 won against the greenback, up 4.5 won from Friday's close.

Bond prices ended lower. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.2 basis points to 1.693 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds gained 3.1 basis point to 2.112 percent. Endi