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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on tech, financial gains

All News 16:29 July 09, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS photo, bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher Monday led by gains in large cap tech and financial shares, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 12.93 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 2,285.8. Trade volume was moderate at 349 million shares worth 5.75 trillion won (US$5.17 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 487 to 330.

The local bourse opened nearly flat but gained ground late in the afternoon as institutions scooped up large-cap shares.

"Solid U.S. economic data had a positive impact on the local stock market," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

Institutions bought up 122 billion won worth of local stocks more than they sold, while retail investors and foreigners dumped a net 72.6 billion won and 59 billion won, respectively.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics advanced 1.56 percent to 45,600 won, with SK hynix, a major chipmaker, jumping 2.7 percent 87,600 won.

Financial shares rallied, with KB Financial Group climbing 1.85 percent to close at 55,200 won. Shinhan Financial Group was up 1.59 percent to 44,600 won.

Steel shares were bearish amid concerns over trade protectionism, with market leader POSCO plunging 2.4 percent to 305,000 won and Hyundai Steel nosediving 4.55 percent to 48,200 won.

On Thursday, European Union countries backed the European Commission's proposal to limit steel imports into the Euro zone, following the United States' decision to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Bio shares were mixed, with pharmaceutical giant Celltrion dropping 1.9 percent to 284,000 won, while Samsung Biologics jumping 4.15 percent to end at 427,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.81 percent to close at 124,500 won, and Naver, the country's No. 1 portal operator, edged up 0.8 percent to 755,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,112.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.7 won from Friday's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.6 basis point to 2.107 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds gained 0.1 basis point to 2.353 percent.

An electronic sign at KEB Hana Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ending the trading session at 2,285.80 on July 9, 2018. (Yonhap)


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