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Seoul stocks close higher on hope over settlement of U.S.-China trade dispute

All Headlines 15:58 August 01, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors' sentiment was boosted by reports that the United States and China are currently carrying out a negotiation to settle the latest trade dispute, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.81 points, or 0.51 percent, to close at 2,307.07. Trade volume was light at 214 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won (US$4.19 billion), with winners beating losers 601 to 220.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed higher amid the rising hope that the world's two largest economies resolve their dispute over tariffs.

"Considering the South Korean market has been losing ground due to the concerns over the trade dispute, the reports that the U.S. and China are seeking a negotiation lends a hand to the local market," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Foreigners purchased a net 174 million won, while retail investors offloaded a net 66 million won. Institutional investors sold more shares than they bought at 141 million won.

Shares of T'way Air, which made its first appearance on the benchmark KOSPI on Wednesday, closed 0.43 percent lower at 11,550 won from its initial price.

Pharmaceutical firms closed mostly higher, with Celltrion rising 3.31 percent to 280,500 won following news that the company won a lawsuit against Janssen in the United States. Samsung BioLogics also advanced 2.68 percent to 383,000 won.

No. 1 steelmaker POSCO rose 1.21 percent to 334,500 won, and Hyundai Steel increased 1.49 percent to 54,500 won.

Tech giants also mostly closed higher, with Samsung Electronics moving up 0.65 percent to 46,550 won and LG Electronics increasing 0.67 percent to 75,300 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix, on the other hand, lost 0.81 percent to 85,600 won.

LG Household & Health Care moved up 4.3 percent to 1,262,000 won, and AmorePacific shot up 3.36 percent to 276,500 won.

Carmakers traded mixed, with Hyundai Motor falling 0.77 percent to 128,500 won, while its sister Kia Motors was up 0.16 percent at 31,750 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,120.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.90 won from Tuesday's close.

colin@yna.co.kr
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