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(LEAD) Seoul shares up 0.6 pct on China stimulus hopes

All News 16:18 January 19, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose 0.6 percent on Tuesday as investors bet on another Chinese stimulus after data showed weaker growth of the world's No. 2 economy. The Korean won gathered ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 11.19 points to end at 1,889.64. Trade volume was moderate at 327 million shares worth 4.43 trillion won (US$3.67 billion), with losers beating winners 505 to 304.

Analysts said Seoul shares managed to climb as investors were not too disappointed about China's 2015 economic growth as it was in line with market expectations.

"China's weak growth stoked expectations that Beijing may roll out new policies to sustain its economy," said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co.

Earlier on Tuesday, China reported its economy expanded 6.9 percent on-year in 2015, the lowest annual growth rate since 1990. In the fourth quarter, the economy grew 6.8 percent on-year, marking the lowest gain since the first quarter of 2009.

Foreigners sold a net 267.9 billion won, while institutional investors scooped up a net 168.5 billion won. Individuals bought a net 85.1 billion won.

Carmakers closed higher, with Hyundai Motor advancing 0.72 percent to 140,000 won and Kia Motors moving up 0.62 percent to 49,000 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis climbed 1.24 percent to 245,000 won.

Tech shares mostly gained ground, with Samsung Electronics increasing 4 percent to 1,171,000 won and top chipmaker SK hynix moving up 5.99 percent to 28,300 won. LG Electronics, however, lost 0.9 percent to 54,800 won.

Steelmakers traded mixed, with No. 1 POSCO edging up 0.3 percent to 165,500 won, while Korea Zinc slid 2.16 percent to 430,000 won. Hyundai Steel added 1.52 percent to 46,750 won.

Air carriers closed bearish due to the weaker industrywide outlook, with No. 1 Korean Air falling 3.01 percent to 24,150 won and Asiana Airlines losing 2.55 percent to 4,200 won. Jeju Air dropped 8.26 percent to 32,200 won.

The local currency ended at 1,205.90 won against the greenback, up 5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys shed 0.2 basis point at 1.644 percent while the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds rose 0.9 basis point to 1.807 percent.


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