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(LEAD) S. Korean stocks rally 1.6 pct on U.S. stocks, oil prices

All Headlines 15:58 March 02, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares spiked 1.6 percent Wednesday as investors cheered the overnight gains in the U.S. stock market as well as rising oil prices, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 30.76 points to finish at 1,947.42. Trading volume was moderate at 316.86 million shares worth 5.11 trillion won (US$4.16 billion), with gainers beating losers 571 to 239.

A rebound in global oil prices lent support to investor sentiment. Also, the Dow Jones industrial average added 2.11 percent overnight. The tech-heavy NASDAQ also moved up 2.89 percent.

China's adjustment of its reserve-requirement ratio also added to investors' sentiment, analysts said.

"China's slash on the reserve-requirement ratio, as well as the rising oil prices and U.S. shares lent support to the local stock market," said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co.

Foreigners purchased a net 376.7 billion won, while retail investors and institutions offloaded a net 412.7 billion won and 14.1 billion won, respectively.

Top steelmaker POSCO advanced 6.55 percent to 211,500 won on the back of rising steel prices. Korea Zinc also moved up 2.13 percent to 456,000 won, and Hyundai Steel increased 2.34 percent to 56,900 won.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 1.61 percent to 1,197,000 won, and flat panelmaker LG Display also added 1.43 percent to 24,850 won. Top chipmaker SK hynix edged up 3.17 percent to 30,950 won.

Chemical shares also traded higher, with AmorePacific rising 2.72 percent to 377,500 won and LG Chem adding 4 percent to 312,000 won.

In contrast, mobile carriers traded bearish, with SK Telecom falling 4.5 percent to 223,000 won while No. 2 KT remaining unchanged at 28,900 won. LG Uplus shed 4.23 percent to 10,200 won.

The local currency closed at 1,227.5 won against the greenback, up 9.2 won from the previous session's close. South Korea's financial markets were closed on Tuesday for the 97th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1.5 basis point to 1.469 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond also gained 2.3 basis point to 1.578 percent.

colin@yna.co.kr
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