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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up 1.16 pct on foreign buying

All News 17:38 June 02, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended slightly higher Friday as foreign investors scooped up large-cap stocks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 27.11 points, or 1.16 percent, to 2,371.72.

On Friday, foreigners turned net buyers of domestic stocks worth more than 448 billion won (US$398 million) after shedding local shares in the past three sessions.

Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said a rally in U.S. stocks gave a boost to the main index.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.65 percent to a record high of 21,144 on solid jobs data.

On Friday, the Bank of Korea said South Korea's economy grew 1.1 percent in the first quarter, the highest level in six quarters after 1.3 percent growth in the third quarter of 2015.

Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., also said local shares moved in sync with the U.S. stock markets following solid jobs data in the world's largest economy.

He also said foreign buying in large-cap stocks, such as Samsung Electronics and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, drove up the main index.

Large-cap stocks led gains, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics advancing 2.86 percent to 2,298,000 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gaining 1.24 percent to 57,100 won.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.51 percent to 163,000 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO shed 0.55 percent to 273,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,121.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.20 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.5 basis points to 1.630 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 0.9 basis point to 1.851 percent.


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