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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on institutional buying

All News 16:24 April 18, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday as institutions and foreigners became net buyers amid eased uncertainties following the United States' decision not to designate South Korea as a currency manipulator. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 2.70 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 2,148.46. Trade volume was moderate at 285.83 million shares worth 3.83 trillion won (US$3.2 billion), with advancers outnumbering decliners 478 to 298.

Earlier in the day, institutional and foreign investors initially offloaded domestic stocks on profit taking but later bought back shares worth 48 billion won, offsetting individuals' selling valued at 47.5 billion won.

Steel, refinery and construction stocks underpinned the main index. But tech and auto shares limited gains.

Top steelmaker POSCO rose 1.14 percent to 267,000 won, leading refiner SK Innovation advanced 0.65 percent to 162,500 won and Hyundai Engineering & Construction was up 0.41 percent to 48,600 won.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 0.14 percent to 2,075,000 won, with No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor declining 2.08 percent to 141,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,142.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.70 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower or unchanged. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.3 basis point to 1.676 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond remained unchanged at 1.850 percent.


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