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(LEAD) Seoul shares keep upward trend on foreign buying

All News 15:51 July 14, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares extended a winning streak into a fourth day on Thursday, paring early losses, as foreigners stuck to a buying mode.

The South Korean won rose sharply against the U.S. dollar after the nation's central bank froze the key interest rate at the record low of 1.25 percent.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 3.22 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,008.77.

Trade volume recorded 334.3 million shares worth 4.2 trillion won (US$3.7 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 443 to 348.

The KOSPI started lower but rebounded in the afternoon session as foreigners continued their net purchasing for six consecutive days.

Foreigners net-purchased 369 billion won worth of shares, while individuals and institutional investors sold a net 141 billion and 225 billion won worth of stocks, respectively.

The index's advance was limited, however, due to a cautious outlook following China's release of weak June trade data and a drop in global oil prices, market watchers said.

The Bank of Korea also revised down its growth outlook for Asia's fourth-largest economy to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent, citing sluggish consumption at home and abroad.

"We will have to monitor (the market situation) until next week to predict whether the KOSPI will stay above the 2,000-point mark with stability," Kim Jeong-hwan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Co., said. "For now, however, it seems like conditions have been created for additional hikes."

Among the positive signs is the government's move to allocate supplementary budgets and looming earning surprises by major industry players.

Geopolitical risks from the finalized plan to let the U.S. deploy the THAAD advanced missile defense system here are feared to weigh down on the local equity market.

Top cap Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 1.28 percent to 1,500,000 won, while leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. lost 2.95 percent to 131,500 won.

Major chipmaker SK hynix Inc. spiked 1.23 percent to 33,050 won.

Naver Corp., the dominant internet portal, also shed 3.17 percent to 24,000 won ahead of its listing of the shares of its Japanese arm LINE Corp. in Tokyo and New York.

The local currency closed at 1,137.35 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9.05 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.6 basis point to 1.205 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 1.3 basis point to 1.224 percent.


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