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(LEAD) S. Korean shares end up on institutional buying

All News 16:22 June 23, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS analyst comments paras in 7-9, bond prices at bottom)

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher Friday as institutions remained net buyers. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 8.23 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,378.60. Trade volume was moderate at 247.36 million shares worth 5.32 trillion won (US$4.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 539 to 259.

Institutional investors continued to buy stocks for a second straight session, helping the main index end in positive territory. They bought shares worth 46.3 billion won after purchasing 47 billion won stocks a session earlier.

Foreigners and individuals dumped a combined 54.9 billion won stocks.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.71 percent to 2,381,000 won, and major chipmaker SK hynix remained unchanged at 65,000 won. No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.55 percent to 164,000 won.

Stocks highly exposed to political tensions between Seoul and Beijing jumped after President Moon Jae-in said he will ask the Chinese authorities to lift the ban on the sale of package travels to South Korea and other retaliatory measures due to the deployment of an advanced missile defense system.

"The comment comes during the session, giving a boost to China-exposed players such as AmorePacific and other stocks which heavily depend on business in China," Daishin Securities Co. analyst Park Choon-young said.

AmorePacific jumped 3.41 percent to 318,500 won and leading steelmaker POSCO climbed 0.56 percent to 270,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,138.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.10 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.3 basis points to 1.688 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds declined 1.3 basis points to 1.857 percent.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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