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(LEAD) S. Korean shares end higher on bargain hunting

All Headlines 16:33 February 23, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at the bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher Friday on bargain hunting by foreign and institutional investors. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 37.24 points, or 1.54 percent, to 2,451.52.

Institutional investors purchased a net 378.5 billion won (US$351 million) worth of stocks, while foreigners bought 155 billion won of shares more than they sold, pushing the benchmark index up.

Han Ji-young, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said the main index got a boost as foreign and institutional investors engaged in bargain hunting after market corrections.

Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said overnight gains on Wall Street had a positive impact on the main index. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.66 percent.

Most large-cap stocks were up.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 0.98 percent to 2,361,000 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. was up 1.27 percent to 159,000 won.

Among decliners, KB Financial, a major banking group, fell 0.31 percent to 64,700 won.

The local currency closed at 1,079.00 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.30 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys shed 1.8 basis points to 2.285 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds lost 1.9 basis points to 2.542 percent.


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