Around the World's Markets: Seoul

SOUTH KOREA'S Kospi index rose to 407.64, its highest in more than six months, as lower interest rates and a stronger yen increased optimism for higher corporate earnings. Lower rates encouraged investors to turn to stocks for profit and raised hopes that South Korea's business groups can reduce their high debt levels.

Optimism about corporate debt also boosted bank shares. Seoul Bank rose 6.2 per cent to 4,725 won. Hanil Bank gained 5.8 per cent to 7,710 won.