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(LEAD) Seoul stocks inch up on Wall Street gains

All News 15:56 February 06, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose slightly Monday, taking a cue from Wall Street gains over U.S. President Donald Trump's move to cut financial regulations. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4.5 points, or 0.22 percent, to close at 2,077.66. Trade volume was moderate at 311 million shares worth 3.81 trillion won (US$3.35 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 440 to 370.

The local stock market opened higher over strong U.S. payroll data, but pared earlier gains over the Korean currency's strength against the U.S. dollar.

Kim Yu-kyum, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said upward momentum was weakened over uncertainties about the U.S. policies, but the local stock market would be supported by positive earnings reports this month.

Samsung Electronics rose 0.25 percent to end at 1,978,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, was flat at 53,700 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, climbed 0.65 percent at 779,000 won.

Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 0.73 percent to 136,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors falling 0.69 percent at 35,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,137.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.8 basis points to 1.667 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 2.4 basis points to 1.859 percent.

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