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(LEAD) S. Korean stocks end higher on institutional buying

All News 16:29 July 06, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher Friday as institutions bought local shares, offsetting net selling by foreigners and individuals, amid rising concerns over the possibility of a full-fledged trade war between the United States and China. The South Korean won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 15.32 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,272.87. Trade volume was light at 340.89 million shares with 6.28 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) worth of shares changing hands. Winners outnumbered losers 659 to 184.

Institutional investors bought a net 459 billion won worth of stocks, outpacing net selling of 485 billion won in shares by foreigners and individuals.

"Foreigners offloaded local stocks to reorganize their portfolios as the U.S. and China may announce heavy import tariffs on each other's products later this week," Jeon Min-chan, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co, said. Beijing and Washington are Seoul's largest and second-largest export markets, respectively.

Auto and steel stocks led gainers, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rising 1.65 percent to 123,500 won and leading steelmaker POSCO climbing 1.13 percent.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 2.29 percent to 44,900 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 0.47 percent to 31,500 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,115.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.70 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.8 basis point to 2.101 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 1.8 basis points to 2.352 percent.

(LEAD) S. Korean stocks end higher on institutional buying - 1


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