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(LEAD) Seoul stocks inch up on institutional buying

All Headlines 17:01 December 05, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose Tuesday on the back of net purchases by local institutional investors. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 8.45 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,510.12. Trade volume was moderate at 387 million shares worth 5.82 trillion won (US$5.37 billion).

The local stock market opened lower, following a overnight sell-off in the U.S. tech stocks.

But the KOSPI turned positive as local institutional investors continued to purchase local stocks.

Kim Byung-yeon, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities, said local technology stocks may be weak for the time being, as investors are likely to be cautious about the sell-off in U.S. technology shares.

Samsung Electronics fell 0.16 percent to end at 2,563,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, declined 1.52 percent to 77,900 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, shed 0.72 percent at 833,000 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 0.62 percent to 161,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gaining 1.96 percent at 33,750 won.

The local currency closed at 1,085.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 2.9 basis points to 2.112 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.6 basis points to 2.296 percent.

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