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(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend gains for 5th session on eased trade concerns

All Headlines 16:32 June 07, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS graphic image, bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher for a fifth straight session Thursday as U.S. lawmakers move to restrict President Donald Trump's authority on imposing tariffs, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 16.82 points, or 0.69 percent, to close at 2,470.58. Trade volume was moderate at 462 million shares worth 7.8 trillion won (US$7.3 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 515 to 293.

The local stock market opened higher following overnight rallies on Wall Street and extended the gains to a fifth straight session as concerns over global trade tensions receded.

U.S. senators are pushing to introduce legislation that would require the U.S. president to seek Congress' approval before imposing tariffs on the grounds of national security.

Last week, the U.S. announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

"Though the possibility of passing the bill isn't that high, such a move by the U.S. lawmakers itself is a positive factor for investment sentiment," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Institutions and foreigners bought a net 174 billion won and 138 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while retail investors dumped a net 318 billion won.

Most large-cap shares traded higher across the board, with bank and steel shares leading the rally.

KB Financial Group surged 2 percent to close at 56,100 won, while Shinhan Financial Group added 2.84 percent to 47,150 won.

Top steelmaker POSCO jumped 4.4 percent to 368,000 won, and Hyundai Steel surged 3.35 percent to 64,800 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion climbed 1.5 percent to 271,000 won.

Samsung Biologics, the health care unit of South Korea's largest business group Samsung, declined 0.24 percent to 420,000 won, as the financial regulator opened a session to confirm its alleged accounting breach.

Officials said a final ruling in the near future, adding the authorities are expected to hold additional sessions to reach a conclusion.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics fell 1.36 percent to 50,600 won. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, was down 0.11 percent to 90,900 won.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor remained unchanged at 142,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,069.00 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys increased 1.6 basis points to 2.217 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds rose 2.5 basis points to 2.522 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend gains for 5th session on eased trade concerns - 1

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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