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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down on oil prices, profit-taking

All News 16:00 September 28, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks fell slightly Wednesday amid weaker oil prices, as the market took a breather after rising in the wake of the U.S. presidential debate. The Korean won inched down against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 9.76 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 2,053.06. Trade volume was moderate at 539 million shares worth 3.94 trillion won (US$3.59 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 457 to 327.

After starting lower, the KOSPI swung between gains and losses after posting gains Tuesday following the Clinton-Trump debate.

Also, investors took to the sidelines ahead of a meeting of OPEC ministers later Wednesday in Algeria, where they will decide whether to cut oil output, although expectations were low for a breakthrough deal.

"After the debate, Internet polls show that Hillary Clinton is widening her lead over Donald Trump in approval ratings," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookuk Securities.

Still, the remaining debates will be closely watched to see if they renew investors' risk appetite, Kim said.

Samsung Electronics fell 0.13 percent to end at 1,567,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, edged up 0.12 percent to 41,200 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, gained 0.34 percent to 887,000 won.

Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 2.12 percent to 138,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors dipping 2.94 percent to 42,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,096.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasury fell 0.1 basis point to 1.304 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 0.7 basis point to 1.335 percent.

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