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(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit this year's high on OPEC deal, foreign buying

All News 15:56 September 29, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose to the highest level of the year Thursday as investors cheered a deal by OPEC to cut oil output. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 15.66 points, or 0.76 percent, to close at 2,068.72. Trade volume was moderate at 411 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won (US$3.91 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 470 to 332.

The local stock market opened higher after OPEC members reached a surprise agreement to cut oil output by 750,000 barrels, which would be the first reduction in oil production in eight years.

Some analysts expected foreign investors to keep buying Korean stocks if oil prices rise.

"There is a correlation between global oil prices and foreigners' net buying of local stocks," said Hong Choon-wook, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

If global oil prices gain, it will improve foreign investors' risk appetite for local stocks, Hong said.

Foreign investors scooped up a net 181 billion won worth of local stocks.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics rose 2.11 percent to end at 1,600,000 won, while SK hynix, a global chipmaker, declined 2.43 percent to 40,200 won.

SK Innovation, the nation's No. 1 oil refiner, jumped 5.21 percent to 161,500 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, gained 1.47 percent to 900,000 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 0.72 percent to 139,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors inching up 0.12 percent to 42,950 won.

The local currency closed at 1,098.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys remained flat at 1.304 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.2 basis points to 1.321 percent.
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