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(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge up on foreign buying

All News 15:54 February 09, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose slightly Thursday as foreign investors snapped a two-day selling streak. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.8 point, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,065.88. Trade volume was moderate at 231 million shares worth 4.15 trillion won (US$3.62 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 452 to 345.

The main stock index swung between gains and losses with investors remaining cautious about political worries in the United States and Europe.

Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities, said investors have kept a close eye on trade protectionism and anti-immigration measures by U.S. President Donald Trump.

But a move by Trump to reduce regulations on the financial sector is expected to have a positive effect on emerging markets, including South Korea, Kim said.

Top cap Samsung Electronics remained flat at 1,920,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, fell 3.48 percent to 52,700 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, shed 1.01 percent to 787,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's leading automaker, fell 0.72 percent to 140,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors declined 0.82 percent to 36,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,145.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.4 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.2 basis points to 1.640 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 2.5 basis points to 1.809 percent.

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