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(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit fresh record-high, Samsung at another all-time high

All Headlines 16:18 July 11, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose to an all-time high on Tuesday as investors continued to scoop up tech shares on the back of their bright earnings outlooks, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 13.90 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at a record 2,396.00. Trade volume was low at 280 million shares worth 4.82 trillion won (US$4.19 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 407 to 390. The Tuesday closing is up from the previous record-high finish set on June 29, when the KOSPI closed at 2,395.66.

Analysts said investor sentiment over IT shares improved after Samsung Electronics, the country's top market cap, announced a record-beating performance estimate for the April-June period.

"The combined operating profit of companies listed on the KOSPI is expected to reach 195 trillion won this year. The earnings momentum will continue through the third quarter," said Kim Ji-won, a researcher at KB Securities Co.

Kim said the earnings outlook is especially bright for chips, IT and construction shares.

Foreigners bought a net 98.2 billion won, while institutions sold a net 20.1 billion won. Retail investors sold a net 123 billion won.

Tech shares closed bullish, with Samsung Electronics moving up 0.7 percent to reach a record high of 2,450,000 won. The South Korean tech giant said last week its second-quarter operating profit shot up nearly 72 percent on-year to post a record quarterly level at 14 trillion won.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.53 percent to 69,000 won and major flat panel maker LG Display increased 3.64 percent at 37,000 won.

Leading steelmaker POSCO rose 2.67 percent to 308,000 won and zinc smelter Korea Zinc advanced 0.11 percent to 460,500 won.

Chemical shares also closed bullish, with industry leader LG Chem increasing 2.57 percent to 299,000 won. No. 1 cosmetics maker AmorePacific moved up 0.53 percent to 283,000 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 148,000 won, while its auto parts arm Hyundai Mobis added 0.21 percent to 243,500 won. The country's No. 2 automaker Kia Motors increased 0.27 percent to 36,800 won.

The local currency closed at 1,151.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.6 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys moved up 0.6 basis point to 1.762 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond lost 0.8 basis point to 1.961 percent.

colin@yna.co.kr
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