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S.Korea Stocks Post Biggest Jump in over 3 Months

  • KOSPI rises, foreigners net buyers
  • Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar
  • South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, March 10 (Reuters) - South Korean shares posted their biggest jump in more than three months on Thursday, buoyed by hopes of market reforms by presidential election winner Yoon Suk-yeol, while oil paring steep gains also boosted sentiment.

The benchmark KOSPI rose 54.46 points, or 2.08%, to 2,676.86 as of 0147 GMT, its sharpest intraday rise since Dec. 1, as markets cheered former top prosecutor Yoon's win that signalled a turn for deregulation in capital markets for Asia's fourth largest economy. 

Sentiment was also helped by a regional rebound, as stalling of commodity price surge led to speculation that weeks of market gyrations may have priced in the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Among heavyweights, technology giant Samsung Electronics and peer SK Hynix rose 2.01% and 2.54%, respectively, while LG Chem rose 1.59% and Naver jumped 9.03%.

"Uncertainty regarding capital gains tax has eased with Yoon's win and that's certainly positive for the market," said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

Yoon, who is bringing the conservative opposition to power after five years, has pledged to scrap capital gains taxes on share sales and also crack down on the industry's traditional practices that favour institutional investors over retail stock holders.

"The Yoon administration will likely advocate modernization of Korea's capital markets, including protecting minority shareholders and improving transparency and fairness in capital market transactions," Kwon Goo-hoon at Goldman Sachs said in a report.

Foreigners were net buyers of 10.5 billion won ($8.55 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The KOSPI has fallen 10.03% so far this year, but lost 7.7% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The won was quoted at 1,227.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , 0.75% higher than its previous close at 1,237.0.

The won has lost 3.2% against the dollar so far this year.

($1 = 1,228.4700 won)

Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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