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Stocks falls on profit-taking; Samsung hits fresh record high

All Headlines 15:50 January 10, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished lower on profit-taking Tuesday, but Samsung Electronics, the country's top market cap, hit a fresh record high. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 3.79 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 2,045.12. Trade volume was moderate at 506 million shares worth 3.79 trillion won (US$3.17 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 530 to 282.

The local stock market opened a tad higher as the U.S. stock market touched all-time highs and Samsung Electronics built up gains on better-than-expected earnings guidance but caved in to profit-taking by investors.

"The KOSPI will attempt to take a further rise on the back of foreign buying," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookuk Securities. "Upbeat corporate earnings may provide a catalyst for an additional rise."

Samsung Electronics, the top market cap, finished at a fresh record high of 1,862,000 won, up 0.05 percent from the previous session's close.

Last week, Samsung Electronics expected its fourth-quarter operating profit to have jumped about 50 percent on-year, beating market expectations as strong sales of chips and displays appeared to help offset losses from a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Operating profit is estimated at 9.2 trillion won in the October-December period, up 49.84 percent from the same quarter of 2015, according to Samsung.

SK hynix, a major chipmaker, also gained 0.4 percent to finish at 49,750 won on a surge in chip prices.

Auto industry leader Hyundai Motor advanced 1 percent to 152,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors rose 0.37 percent to 40,500 won.

SK Innovation, the country's No. 1 refiner, shed 2.2 percent to 155,500 won, and LG Chem, the nation's top chemicals firm, climbed 1.13 percent to finish at 267,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,194.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 13.7 won from the previous session's close.

sam@yna.co.kr
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