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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 6-day winning streak on profit-taking

All News 15:52 July 19, 2016

(ATTN: bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks fell 0.21 percent Tuesday, snapping a rise for six straight sessions, as investors attempted to cash in on recent gains. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 4.22 points to close at 2,016.89. Trade volume was moderate at 377 million shares worth 3.69 trillion won (US$3.25 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 482 to 296.

The local stock market opened lower on profit-taking. Last week, the KOSPI surged 2.76 percent on the back of foreigners' buying binge and Samsung Electronics Co.'s continued rise.

Also, investors took to the sidelines ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting slated for Thursday.

"Hope for a global economic recovery is running high, and market conditions seem not to be so bad," said Lee Jun-hee, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. But some investors are attempting to sell part of their holdings to lock in gains, the analyst said.

"Investors are looking at second-quarter earnings because they want to assess their bottom lines," said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.

Foreign investors scooped up a net 303 billion won worth of local stocks, extending their buying binge to a ninth consecutive session.

Samsung Electronics remained unchanged at 1,533,000 won, and AmorePacific, the No. 1 cosmetics maker, fell 0.71 percent to 420,000 won.

SK hynix, a global chipmaker, edged down 0.92 percent to 32,450 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, rose 0.84 percent to 718,000 won, and POSCO, the country's top steelmaker, shed 3.51 percent to end at 220,000 won.

Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 1.52 percent to 130,000 won. Hyundai Motor workers staged a partial strike earlier in the day demanding a pay raise and better working conditions.

The local currency closed at 1,135.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.2 basis point to 1.227 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.1 basis point to 1.254 percent.

sam@yna.co.kr
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