SEOUL: South Korean shares changed courses right before the closing bell this morning, rising for the eighth straight session to close at a record high following the approval of the government’s supplementary budget. The National Assembly passed the 11 trillion won (RM42.37 billion) budget on Saturday. The government plans to use 70 per cent of the extra money in the third quarter. The news offset foreign investors’ heavy selling of domestic stocks on the day. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.1 per cent at 2,451.53 points, recouping early losse. Offshore investors sold 166.4 billion won worth of KOSPI shares.
The South Korean won finished at a four-month high and near the year’s highest closing level as the U.S. dollar’s weakness persisted in global markets. Local foreign exchange authorities were suspected of smoothing operations after the currency was seen reaching the 1,110 level. The won was quoted at 1,114.8 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, up 0.4 per cent compared to Friday’s close of 1,118.2. It was the highest closing level since March 28.