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S. Korean stocks end higher on institutional buying

All Headlines 15:58 October 12, 2016

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed slightly higher Wednesday as institutions went on a massive buying spree, also extending their buying streak to a third consecutive session. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar for a second straight session.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 1.80 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,033.73. Trading volume was slim at 292.4 million shares worth 4.68 trillion won (US$4.16 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 406 to 377.

Institutions purchased a net 619.2 billion won while foreign investors offloaded a net 550.2 billion won, extending their selling streak to a third consecutive session. Retail investors sold a net 68.9 billion won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slipped 0.65 percent to 1,535,000 won, following an 8.04 percent plunge in the previous session that marked the steepest drop in nearly eight years.

Such a sharp drop came after the company said it will halt global sales of its latest Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over battery-related problems.

"All sources of possible loss for Samsung Electronics have been exposed, and a nine-percent drop from the previous price was a market consensus and the price cut has already been played out over the past three days," Bookook Securities analyst Kim Sung-hwan said.

Despite an earlier global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 over problems with its battery, Samsung Electronics shares surged to a record high of 1,706,000 won on Friday.

"The price may not quickly recover in the near future, which may require the launch of a new product, but it will not show a rapid drop either," Kim added.

Other large caps ended mixed.

Samsung C&T, a construction unit and de facto holding firm of Samsung Group, spiked 3.86 percent to 161,500 won, while industry leader Hyundai Motor added 1.49 percent to 136,500 won.

Top mobile communications firm SK Telecom retreated 0.23 percent to 219,000 won, while global steelmaker POSCO advanced 0.43 percent to 234,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,123.60 won against the U.S. greenback, down 3.20 won from the previous session's close.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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