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(LEAD) Seoul shares rise to yearly high on tech gains

All News 15:48 July 26, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed at their highest level this year on Tuesday as investors snapped up major tech shares, helped by foreigners loading for a 14th consecutive session. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 15.02 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 2,027.34. Trade volume was slim at 332.2 million shares worth 3.92 trillion won (US$3.45 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 474 to 320.

Market analysts say the KOSPI has hovered above the 2,000-mark since July 13 on the back of improved investor sentiment following the eased monetary policy.

"The market is forecast to move in the way of investors preferring risk due to the eased monetary policy," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities Co.

Foreign investors loaded a net 188.9 billion won worth of local stocks, extending their buying binge for 14 sessions in a row.

Top cap Samsung Electronics Co. rebounded 1.86 percent to finish at 1,530,000 won. A day earlier, the tech giant lost for the second consecutive session, ending a six-day winning streak.

SK hynix Inc., meanwhile, inched down 1.38 percent to 32,050 won. The global chipmaker earlier reported its lowest quarterly profit in 13 quarters as falling demand for smartphones and computers hit chip prices.

Auto industry leader Hyundai Motor inched up 0.37 percent to 136,000 won. The company announced earlier in the day that its net income dropped slightly from a year earlier in the second quarter on a dip in exports and profitability.

Hyundai's smaller affiliate Kia Motors closed at 43,050 won, down 0.12 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,134.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.10 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.5 basis point to 1.220 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 0.9 basis point to 1.248 percent.

khj@yna.co.kr
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