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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on foreign buying

All Headlines 16:34 August 07, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at the bottom)

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday as foreign investors scooped up large-cap shares, offsetting a massive selling spree by institutions. The South Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 13.66 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,300.16. Trade volume was moderate at 225.7 million shares worth 4.6 trillion won (US$4.09 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 424 to 369.

Foreigners bought a net 56.7 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange, while individual and institutional investors offloaded a net 6.4 billion won and 108.4 billion won, respectively.

The Seoul index opened a tad lower but soon turned to positive terrain, tracking overnight Wall Street gains. On Monday, U.S. stocks ended higher on sound second-quarter corporate earnings reports. The S&P added 0.35 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.61 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.16 percent.

"Foreign investors were net sellers during the morning session but soon turned to a heavy-buying spree in the afternoon," said Ryu Yong-seok, an analyst at KB Securities Co.

Most large-cap stocks had a mixed day of trading, with tech and bio shares leading the gains.

Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 46,700, up 1.97 percent from the previous session's close, to continue a three-day winning streak. On Monday, Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of Samsung Group, met with Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, to discuss various issues.

Its smaller rival LG Electronics added 0.94 percent to 75,100 won. Chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.64 percent to 80,700 won.

Shares of biopharmaceutical companies also gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, jumping 6.53 percent to end at 424,000 won, and Celltrion was up 0.18 percent to close at 274,500 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,123.8 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.2 won from Monday's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.5 basis points to 2.082 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds lost 1.2 basis points to 2.326 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on foreign buying - 1

khj@yna.co.kr
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