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(LEAD) Seoul stocks edge up on telecoms, automakers

All Headlines 16:29 July 03, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished marginally higher on Monday, aided by gains in telecom companies and automakers, but market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics came under selling pressure on profit-taking, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

After swerving in and out of negative terrain, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 2.69 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 2,394.48.

Trade volume was moderate at 298 million shares worth 4.72 trillion won (US$4.12 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 461 to 336.

The local stock market opened higher as chemical and bank stocks built up gains on a rebound in oil prices and rosy earnings outlook.

"Although the local stock market may face a correction after a rally, it could attempt to break through the 2,400-point mark again," said Lee Kyong-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Analysts said the KOSPI has risen for the seventh consecutive month, which means that a profit-taking stance may take hold among investors.

Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, fell 0.67 percent to end at 2,361,000 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, dropped 1.63 percent to 66,300 won on profit-taking.

In contrast, POSCO, the top steelmaker, rose 2.79 percent to end at 295,000 won, and SK Innovation, the top refiner in the country, gained 1.58 percent to end at 161,000 won.

SK Telecom, the country's top mobile carrier, advanced 3.2 percent to end at 274,500 won on rosy earnings outlook, and KT, the No. 2 mobile operator, jumped 4.29 percent to end at 34,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's No. 1 automaker, rose 2.51 percent to finish at 163,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors also gained 1.31 percent to 38,700 won.

The local currency closed at 1,137.90 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.8 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.8 basis points to 1.716 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.3 basis points to 1.921 percent.

sam@yna.co.kr
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