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(LEAD) S. Korean shares rebound on eased U.S. rate concern

All Headlines 15:53 August 30, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks eked out a small gain Tuesday, snapping a four-day losing streak, on renewed risk-on sentiment. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 7.39 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,039.74. Trade volume came to 374.88 million shares worth 3.76 trillion won (US$3.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 473 to 333.

Foreigners and institutions net-purchased 55.8 billion won and 12.1 billion won worth of stocks, respectively, while individuals sold a net 17.2 billion won worth of stocks,

The KOSPI's advance came after declining for four consecutive sessions amid widespread expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise the key interest rate at least once before the end of the year.

Many market watchers, however, are betting that the Fed will take the action in December, not next month, and Japan and other major economies will stick to monetary easing.

"The timing of a rate hike in the U.S. is on the table, but chances are high that its policy move will be considerably slow down the road," said Park Seok-hyun, an analyst at Eugene Investment Co. "The Fed won't rush to another interest hike."

Large caps closed mixed, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics adding 0.3 percent to 1,645,000 won.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor slipped 1.12 percent to 132,500 won. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. shed 0.86 percent to 57,600 won.

Hanjin Shipping, the nation's key shipper, plummeted 24.16 percent to 1,240 won after its creditors decided not to extend additional support to the cash-strapped firm.

The local currency closed at 1,119.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.10 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 1.1 basis points to 1.283 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.9 basis point to 1.310 percent.


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