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(LEAD) S. Korean shares up 0.6 pct bucking Wall Street losses

All News 16:10 April 12, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares climbed 0.56 percent Tuesday, boosted by gains in major industries, despite the overnight slide on Wall Street. The local currency also rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 10.95 points to 1,981.32. Trade volume stood at 372 million shares worth 3.8 trillion won (US$3.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 445 to 367.

Tech firms traded mixed, with top market player Samsung Electronics adding 0.71 percent to 1,275,000 won and the nation's second-largest tech firm LG Electronics shedding 2.02 percent to 63,000 won.

Automobiles, shipbuilders and steelmakers were largely in positive terrain.

No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.71 percent to 148,500 won. State-run Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.51 percent to 59,000 won and leading steelmaker POSCO rose 0.21 percent to 238,000 won.

Market watchers said recent hikes in oil prices have whetted investors' appetites for riskier assets.

The KOSPI's advance was limited, however, on the eve of the domestic general elections. Traders also await major economic data from the U.S. and China.

"Although relatively positive (market) conditions have been created at home and abroad, no obvious momentum is in sight yet," Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities, said.

Oil prices, which appear to have bottomed out, will be important in setting the overall mood for the KOSPI to stay above the 2,000-point mark, he added.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 20.55 points, or 0.12 percent, to 17,556.41, as the U.S. corporate earnings season has begun amid a poor profit outlook.

South Korea's won closed the day at 1,145.85 against the greenback, up 0.65 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yields on three-year Treasury notes lost 0.1 basis point to 1.465 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond also shed 0.1 basis point to 1.565 percent.

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