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(LEAD) Seoul stocks slump on foreign sell-offs

All News 16:33 December 07, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main stock index fell on Thursday as foreign investors remained net sellers of stocks amid geopolitical worries in the Middle East. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 12.39 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,461.98. Trading was moderate at 396 million shares worth 6.03 trillion won (US$5.52 billion) changing hands.

Worries linger over U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

However, some analysts said healthier earnings by U.S. blue chip stocks are likely to have a positive impact on local stock markets.

Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said, "An improvement in earnings by U.S. large-cap stocks will increase profits of Korean exporters."

Samsung Electronics rose 1.44 percent to end at 2,537,000 won, while SK hynix, a global chipmaker, fell 1.94 percent to 76,000 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, gained 1.33 percent to 837,000 won.

Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 0.31 percent to 161,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors dipped 1.92 percent to 33,250 won.

The local currency closed at 1,093.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 1.0 basis point to 2.094 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.3 basis points to 2.284 percent.


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